News & Tall Tales. 1800s.
200 Vessels will Reach San Francisco
Tuesday, April 24, 1849, Alta California, San Francisco, California
THE GOLD EXCITEMENT
Last summer when our town was deserted by all its male inhabitants when more than one-half of its houses were tenantless when the ordinary avocations and amusements of the community were apparently at an end and when nothing but the engrossing pursuit of gold was followed, we thought that such a scene of excitement would never be looked upon by other eyes.
Yet, if we can believe the newspaper accounts, the spirit which has been awakened in the United States by the intelligence of the great mineral wealth of this country, is even more frightful and epidemic in its effects than it was in California.
We were prepared for a large emigration, but we were not prepared for such a sweeping wave of desire as seems to have rolled over the length and breadth of the Union we had calculated upon an excitement, but we thought that the Mexican war and the presidential election would have exhausted for a time the mercurial portion of our national character, and we rather feared that Anglo-Saxon sturdiness would prove too much even for the gold mania.
But no, the thirst for gold has rode the public mind like a nightmare. One impulse seems to have actuated the whole nation, and had the mines been within "a few minutes walk" of any railroad depot, there is not the slightest doubt that twenty out of the twenty-four millions of inhabitants would have been digging long ago.
Some weeks since we published a short list of vessels which were advertised for California. That probably did not comprise one-half the real number. In every part of the country from New Orleans to Bangor, vessels are about to sail, and it is probably that two-hundred vessels will reach this port from the United States within the coming year.
From England and the continent of Europe, also, vessels have already sailed, and many more are preparing to sail. From all the islands of the Pacific, and from all her shores, the same intelligence reaches us whilst the overland route is probably already alive with emigrants.
|Gold Washing in California|
This extraordinary excitement and emigration fills us with an undefinable area Not that we doubt the inexhaustibility of the mines, but that we fear the suffering and disappointment which so many of this vast crowd must undergo. Gold digging, like everything else, has its fortunate and unfortunate votaries, and like every other pursuit, it requires industry, prudence, good health and energy.
Thousands of those who arrive here will do well, but we cannot but believe that there will be hundreds who will have abandoned comfortable homes to seek for gold in a land where privations only will be their reward.
Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco
The first biography of the little-known real-life Tom Sawyer (a friend of Mark Twain during his brief tenure as a California newspaper reporter), told through a harrowing account of Sawyer's involvement in the hunt for a serial arsonist who terrorized mid-nineteenth century San Francisco. hen 28-year-old San Francisco Daily Morning Call reporter Mark Twain met Tom Sawyer at a local bathhouse in 1863, he was seeking a subject for his first novel. As Twain steamed, played cards, and drank beer with Sawyer (a volunteer firefighter, customs inspector, and local hero responsible for having saved ninety lives at sea), he had second thoughts about Shirley Tempest, his proposed book about a local girl firefighter, and began to envision a novel of wider scope. Author Robert Graysmith worked as an artist at The San Francisco Chronicle during the years of the Zodiac Killer; he wrote "Zodiac" and "Zodiac Unmasked" about those murders.
The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Northern Mines of California's Mother Lode Gold Belt As Told By The Newspapers and Miners 1848-1875
Lewis J. Swindle
While in the U.S. Military stationed in Turkey in the eary 1970s, Swindle became interested in minerals and geology. In returning to the U.S. and during the 26 years he lived in Colorado, he spent countless hours in the mountainous terrain looking for, digging and collecting the minerals known to exist in the Pikes Peak Region. In moving to the California and the Gold Belt Region, he searched out the history of the gold in the region.
Rooted in Barbarous Soil:
People, Culture, and Community in Gold Rush California
(California History Series)
A mercurial economy swung from boom to bust, and back again, rendering everyone's fortunes ephemeral. Competition, jealousy, and racism fueled individual and mass violence. Yet, in the very midst of this turbulence, social and cultural forms emerged, gained strength, spread, and took hold. Rooted in Barbarous Soil examines gold rush society and culture.
The Age of Gold:
The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream
H. W. Brands
“I have found it.” These words, uttered by the man who first discovered gold on the American River in 1848, triggered the most astonishing mass movement of peoples since the Crusades. California’s gold drew fortune-seekers from around the world. That discovery accelerated America’s imperial expansion and exacerbated the tensions that exploded in the Civil War. The Gold Rush inspired a new American dream — the “dream of instant wealth, won by audacity and good luck.” Brands tells his epic story from multiple perspectives: of adventurers John and Jessie Fremont, entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and Samuel Clemens — alongside prospectors, soldiers, and scoundrels. He imparts a sense of the distances they traveled, the suffering they endured, and the fortunes they made and lost.
San Francisco Memoirs:
1835-1851: Eyewitness Accounts of the Birth of a City
Malcolm E. Barker
In July 1846 San Francisco was a tranquil settlement of about 150 inhabitants. Three years later it was an international metropolis with more than 30,000 people thronging its streets. Recalled in this intriguing collection of personal anecdotes from those tumultuous times are the days when San Francisco Bay extended inland to Montgomery Street. Bears, wolves, and coyotes roamed the shore. The arrival of 238 Mormons more than doubled the town's population.
More San Francisco Memoirs 1852-1899: The Ripening Years
Malcolm E. Barker
Gold Dust and Gunsmoke
Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes
A collection of true tales of villainy and violence during the California Gold Rush. How gold fever ignited a rush of families, but also prostitutes, feuds, lynchings, duels, bare-knuckle prizefights, and vigilantes.
The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West
On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West.
Embarcadero: Sea Adventures from 1849 to 1906
Tales of the colorful characters who went down to the sea in ships to and from the port of San Francisco.
Mud, Blood, and Gold
A year in the life of San Francisco: 1849. Based on eyewitness accounts and previously overlooked official records, Richards chronicles the explosive growth of a wide-open town rife with violence, gambling, and prostitution, all of it fueled by unbridled greed.
The Naval Order of the United States has a history dating from 1890. Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths.
The San Francisco Commandery meets the first Monday of each month at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in San Francisco, California and holds two formal dinners each year:
- Annual Midway Night Celebration -In June at the Marines' Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St, San Francisco.
- Pearl Harbor Memorial Dinner - In December at the University Club, 800 Powell St, San Francisco. Dinner Dress Blue Jacket uniform or equivalent.