Excerpts from Sacramento Daily Union - First Inundation 12/10/1861 [press date]
(c) 2012, Mike Barkley
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3339, 10 December 1861 p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
The flood has deprived us of the mails, and the telegraphic wires being very badly deranged, knowledge of affairs in the outside world is rather limited. The communication between any given block in the city and the next is attended with much trouble and some peril. We give as full particulars concerning the inundation as could be gathered at such a time. . . . .
DEER IN AMADOR.-- The Ledger says: We have been informed that the section of country between Jackson and Lancia Plana abounds with deer, doubtless driven out of the mountains by the recent heavy snow storms.
A GREAT CALAMITY - SACRAMENTO DELUGED.
Another calamity haa overtaken our city. After having escaped for nine years--a time so long that many of our citizens had concluded the city was safe from damage by water--Sacramento was yesterday subjected to suffering and damage from the deepest and most destructive flood of those to which she has been exposed. It came, too, with the rapidity of a hurricane. In a few hours after the water crossed the levee, the whole city was under water. The flood precipitated itself upon us without warning, and found people totally unprepared. The levee is now an injury instead of a benefit, as it confines the water in the city, and has caused it to rise higher by probably two feet than it would have done had no levee existed on the south side.
Our system of levees embraces a line on the Sacramento from the mouth of the American South to Sutterville; a line from the mouth of the American along and near the river to a point east of Smith's Garden, some three or more miles from Front street. In 1853 a line was built for the better protection of the city, beginning on the Sacramento where R street strikes it, and running east on that street to about Sixteenth street, thence in a northeasterly direction along the slough by Sutter's Fort, until it strikes Thirty-first street--the eastern limit of the city--thence north with that street until it intersects the levee which runs up the American river.
The city is thus surrounded by a levee. All the floods which had devastated Sacramento previous to the time the levee on the south and east of the city was constructed, came from the American river, and broke over the bank and levee east of Thirty-first street and outside of the city limits. It was believed that the levee on Thirty-first street in connection with the one on R street would protect the city from any flood, caused by a break in the levee, east of Thirty-first street. The American, this year, true to its old habits, burst over, and through the levee east of the city limits, and outside the levee on Thirty-first street.
The water followed down that levee, on the outside, and would have passed harmlessly by the city, had it not unfortunately met with an obstacle in the railroad embankment. The railroad enters the city on R street, strikes the R street levee at Sixteenth street, thence down that levee to Front street. Before reaching Sixteenth street it crosses the old slough bed at the point where it was intended the water should pass, and the ordinance granting the company the right to enter the city, contained a provision that the company should build a bridge for so many yards in length. This was done, and the bridge kept open for several years, but within the past two or three the managing agents of the Company have taken the responsibility of filling up the space with earth and knocking away the bridge timbers.
This was an illegal act, and was the cause of bringing upon the city the present terrible calamity. Had the bridge been left as the law specified, the flood from the American would have passed the city and left it unharmed. But it plunged directly against the railroad embankment--which was nearly or quite as high as the levee--and, as a consequence, rose until it overtopped both the levee and the railroad embankment. Which first gave way, we are not advised, but believe a breach was made first in the railroad embankment. The water set back so as to flow over the levee and into the city for a mile or more in width. For hours the water was from four to five feet lower south of the railroad after the water broke over than it was north of it; such, too, was the fact as to the level of the water in the city and outside of the levee. But long before this it has doubtless found its level, as the R street levee, notwithstanding it has been cut in several places, still backs the water up to a considerable extent in the city.
The levee at Rabel's Tannery, which is inside the corporate limits, and which was considered the weakest of any other, was standing at last accounts last night.
It was relieved by the break above, though it seemed yesterday as if it would finally give way before the world of water which was pressing against it. If the levee gives way there, the depth of water will be considerably increased. After the water overtopped the levee above the railroad, it rushed through the southern portion of the city at a rate which in a single hour submerged many one-story houses to the roof. Before midday numbers of small tenements were floating, the inmates being rescued with difficulty. So powerful was the current created through the levee where openings were made, that houses were carried through them in several instances. The difficulties attending the removal of families surrounded by water have been very great. Several persons were drowned ; and, had the water broken in during the night, the loss of life must have been fearfully great. Horses, cows, hogs, fowls, etc., have been drowned, but how many we have no means of ascertaining. The damage to property has been great and may be greater. Thousands to-night are houseless, while hundreds of families are in second stories, without the means of making fires.
The prospect is gloomy in the extreme for those who have been driven from their houses. The sad scenes witnessed and the sufferings experienced in a city of fifteen thousand inhabitants on such a day as yesterday, cannot be described. We are writing surrounded by water, and with the liquid element within a few inches of the fire under the boilers.
This is the fourth flood to which Sacramento has been subjected since 1849; one in the Winter of 1850; the second in 1851; the third on the 19th of December, 1852, which was renewed on the 31st of the same month. In that year people made their New Year's calls in boats. The fourth is now upon us. But Sacramentans never despair. They have always risen superior to all misfortunes by fire and flood, as they will above this when time has been given to recuperate. . . .
TERRIBLE FLOOD OF THE CITY. [all one paragraph]
It is our duty to record this morning the fact that our city has been visited by the most extraordinary flood ever known since the settlement of the State by Americans. We mentioned yesterday that the American, and Sacramento rivers had risen to a point about eighteen feet above low water mark--a point never before attained so early in the season. The rains of Sunday afternoon of course melted the snows in the mountains, which is the probable cause of the disaster from which or [sic] city has suffered incalculable injury. At about eight o'clock yesterday morning, it was announced that the levee had given way on the eastern boundary of the city, and that that portion of the city was being rapidly flooded. The report was treated by many, at first, as an idle rumor, but within an hour the fact become generally known that an immense volume of water was steadily advancing from the direction indicated.
It appears that during the night the water had overflowed and broken down the levee of the American river east of the City Laundry, and had flooded a large area of country southward from that point. An immense volume of water collected in the angle north of Poverty Ridge, and east of the the [sic] levee which runs diagonally from R and Seventeenth streets to the vicinity of Sutter Fort. The water commenced to come through the openings of this levee before six o'clock in the morning, but as the progress of the current was entirely checked by the embankment of the R street railroad, such a mass accumulated in the angle and along the line of the eastern levee that at about eight o'clock it commenced to flow over the top, nearly all along the line from R street and the fort, and at various points north of the fort.
All the streets of the city south of J were flooded by nine o'clock as far west as Eleventh and Twelfth streets, and many of them as far as Ninth and Tenth streets The tendency of the destructive current seemed to be along the southern section of the city--the R street levee damming it up and preventing its natural flow towards Sutterville. Residents of that section of the city, even when notified by their friends, seemed unable to realize their danger until their houses were surrounded by a rapidly rising current. Before nine o'clock many women and children in one story houses were entirely surrounded and hemmed in east of Eleventh and Twelfth streets, and in many instances their calls for assistance were distressing.
There were at that hour brought into service, and the only means of transporting this class to dry land, mules, horses, wagons, etc. As early as nine o'clock there was a very general movement among stock owners and livery stable keepers, to drive out of the city, horses, mules, cattle, hogs, etc. All efforts at exit on the east were unavailing, and throughout the day large quantities of stock were driven across the Yolo bridge and down the levee towards Sutterville. When the water at ten and eleven o'clock reached the low portion of the city, at Fifth and Sixth streets, north of the railroad, its depth was so great as to set afloat and turn over a large number of houses in that vicinity. From very many of these houses, for the space of from one to two hours, women conld be seen from the railroad at doors and windows calling for boats, or any means of transportation to the higher portion of the city.
Boats were at first scarce, and for some time it seemed as though many lives must inevitably be lost. All the boats at the levee were soon brought into requisition; many were placed on wagons, and others were carried to the edge of the water, and were there manned and rendered heroic service in rescuing women and children from their perilous positions. We have heard the names of John Fisher and J. A. Duffy spoken of in terms of gratitude in this connection, as having rendered essential service. There are scores of others, as we know by observation, whose names we have not received, who did equally well.
As the water arrived at the vicinity of the Pavilion, corner of Sixth and M streets, many families were driven from their homes and had no place of shelter. The doors of the Pavilion were locked, and there was no one present with keys. C. L. Knowles, with an ax, burst open one of the doors of the upper story, and then put a notice inviting families to take refuge within. The invitation was not thrown away.
During the day. the Howard Benevolent Society accommodated in the building some two hundred persons, men, women and children--having kept four boats running constantly, bringing off from the flooded district those who were without the means of transportation. This number was fed by a cauldron being prepared for the supply of soup, and furnished with blankets at night for lodging. The water continued to back up from the R street levee, and flood in turn M, L, K and J streets. Soon after one o'clock these streets were from two to four feet under water. The inmates of one-story residences generally deserted them, while those who occupied two-story buildings engaged themselves actively in carrying into the second story all movable things.
The cellars in town were of course filled with water and large quantities of stores were destroyed. Boats, scows, rafts, and every imaginable kind of water craft was brought into play on our streets. Men, women and children, furniture, provisions and clothing, were removed by these floating craft, and many an amusing incident occurred from the upsetting of portions of the flotilla, and from foot passengers, while walking in two or three feet of water, plunging unexpectedly in newly washed holes in the streets. At about 11 o'clock in the forenoon, the chain gang, under the direction of Overseers Long and Dreman, cut an opening in the R street levee between Fifth and Sixth streets.
When the water first commenced to pass through the opening towards Sutterville, there was a fall from the city side of from eight to ten feet. It rushed through in a perfect torrent, almost equaling in volume and violence the mouth of the American river on the occasion of a sudden freshet in it when the Sacramento is low. A large number of houses in the immediate vicinity had been fairly afloat for some time, and the discharge through the opening in the railroad was such that from twenty to twenty-five of these houses, many of them two stories high, were swept through and dashed to fragments as they passed on their way towards Sutterville. Among this number was the large house of John Isaacs, which stood on Fifth street near R street.
It was carried from its mooring at an early hour, and stood for a long time in an angular position. The proprietor having early sent his family to the upper portion of the city, remained on the wreck of his building, telling the boatmen who came near to first save the women and children in the vicinity. When the house was about to clear for Sutterville he jumped into a boat and landed on the railroad.
Several openings beside that which was cut by the chain gang, were created by the natural action of the water, and the great discharge through them all resulted in lowering the water on J and K streets, at three or four o'clock, about a foot. Later in the evening, when the equilibrium of water on each side of R street was established, the back water filled up all portions of the city, and attained a higher point than that of the earlier period of the day.
At nine o'clock last evening Our business office, on the first floor of the Union building, was flooded by an inch or two of water, which circumstance had not occurred during the afternoon. Throughout the day there were many rumors afloat of persons being drowned. Although these stories were frequently unfounded, there is but little doubt that
they were, in several instances, too true. There is but little doubt that there was a teamster drowned somewhere this side of Sutter's Fort, a man and a child at Ninth and M streets,
and a man at Sixth and P streets. We have been unable to learn the names of either of these parties, but the accidents were witnessed in each instance by several persons. The man and child were in a wagon at Ninth and M streets, and the horses plunged into a cistern--the lid of which had doubtless floated off; before assistance could reach them, passengers and horses were lost. It is greatly to be feared that the lives of women and children have also been sacrificed, as in many instances they were hemmed in in one story buildings without any means of even getting on to the roofs of their houses.
During the greater part of the day the only dry portions of the city were I street, the river front, the R street levee and Poverty Ridge. I street and the levee were crowded much of the day with live stock, which was taken there for safety, In the evening many boats were occupied in taking passengers to and from the very few restaurants and hotels which were a le [sic] to furnish meals to customers, The most of them had their fires extinguished, and were therefore unable to do their usual cooking.
A steamboat accident remains to be added to the incidents of the day. At about three o'clock in the afternoon the Swallow from Marysville arrived and attempted to pass through the draw of the bridge. The current was strong, and the boat was of course difficult to manage. The boat struck the pier and had her port side shattered in a frightful manner. Two lady passengers were seriously injured by the accident. Their names were Miss Elizabeth Neal and Mrs. M. Wyer, both residents of the neighborhood of Marysville. Both sustained injuries on the head. Mrs. Wyer's husband was on the boat in a sick bed. On account of the general confusion prevailing throughout the city yesterday, and the difficulty of getting from one point to another, we are unable to speak advisedly of the condition of the various portions of the levee around the city.
At ten o'clock the bank at Rabel's Tannery was still standing, and no water of consequence had come into the city through the northern levee. At a later hour in the day it was reported that the banks at that point had given way. The cars for Folsom failed to go entirely through at any time daring the day. The morning train went out beyond Poverty Ridge, passengers were carried a half mile in boats, and a second train carried them the remainder of the trip.
The railroad is carried away in many places. The road to Sutterville and Camp Union by way of the river was passable during the most of the day, but towards evening the column of water from the city had washed away the embankment between lower and upper Sutterville, which cut off the passage. During the early part of yesterday, the water at the city gauge stood twenty-one feet above low water mark. At sun down it had raised six or eight inches above that point. The Yolo side of the river had not overflowed to any considerable extent. At ten o'clock last evening the water in the city had receded an inch or two. The events of yesterday will render it one of the most memorable in the history of our city.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3340, 11 December 1861 p. 1
[reprint of "Calamity" and "Terrible Flood" from 12/10.]
We are now in such a position that the public future of the city must be considered. The people will be called upon to reply to the question--What next, in the municipal history of Sacramento? The answer to this question may be obtained by replying to the following: Is not self-protection the first law of nature? Does not necessity demand obedience? Can Sacramento exist as a city without a higher grade and levees which will place our future beyond all contingencies? Can the people longer endure the consolidation system of government? Can Sacramento repair her levees and protect herself against the high water which may yet follow, upon any other basis than cash? Does not her future existence depend absolutely upon repairing and strengthening her levees so as to prevent further damage by water? Can she obtain the money to pay for this work, upon which hangs her fate, except from the Interest and Sinking Fund?
It must be conceded, however unwillingly, that as a city, Sacramento is bankrupt. She was nearly in that condition previous to this destructive overflow; its visitation has placed her in a condition where it would be folly to pretend that she is able for the present to pay either the principal or interest of her public debt. This conviction is forced upon us--though we have heretofore steadily and determinedly opposed everything which had the appearance of repudiation. But we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the only hope for the city even to pay any portion of her public indebtedness is for her citizens to place her upon a foundation up to high water mark, and surround her with a levee with a base so wide as to insure strength and permanency, and an elevation which will bid defiance to the highest flood.
To do this, the city must have money, and where is it possible for her to obtain it, if she does not make a virtue of necessity and appropriate the $80,000 now in the Treasury to the sacred purpose of preserving her existence? She has no legal right to do this, we admit; but she has a moral and legal right to preserve .her own life, and is bound, morally and legally, to make use of such means as are within her power to accomplish that end. The necessity which may arise to save life, is above all law. Sacramento must act now, or be blotted from the map of cities. The untiring energy of her merchants, business men, mechanics and property owners, will enable them soon to regain what of individual property has been devoured by the flood, provided the city is so protected by a grade and levee as to give confidence in the future. To do this the city must act, and that with an energy and ability herefore unknown.
To repudiate an honest debt is disgraceful, because it is a refusal to pay when able; but when placed in a position by misfortunes which no human wisdom could have averted, where an individual or a corporation is unable to pay honest debts, it is fair and honorable to face creditors and the world with an avowal of the fact. This is precisely the position of Sacramento, and it is honorable on her part to admit her total inability now to pay her public debt, principal or interest, and to avow her determination to do so as soon as she is in a condition to discharge those obligations. No other course is left her, and her citizens will be forced to take the responsibility.
LAND HO!--One of the first sounds which greeted our ears yesterday morning was the rattle of wheels on J street. It was a pleasant sound, and a look from the window established the fact that we were again in sight of land. The night before we had been taken in a rowboat from Fourth to Seventh up the center of J, and found about two feet water in the street. in the course of the night it had receded, and left J and K again in a condition for traveling under the usual conditions. People were again moving up and down the sidewalks as if engaged again in business.
The condition of the streets, and the stores as they were opened, was indescribable, but the owners were busily engaged in cleaning the latter. Most of them wore cheerful countenances, apparently thankful that the misfortune was no greater. Probably no people in the world are more buoyant under misfortune than those of Sacramento. They have struggled with aud risen triumphantly above circumstances more adverse and disheartening than those by which they are now surrounded.
With strong hearts and resolute wills they will vigorously set about replacing that which is lost in property, and while doing so intermit no exertions necessary to the prosperity of the city they have twice redeemed from fire and flood. Never despair has been the motto of Sacramentans, and will be still. Under this motto industry, energy and economy will soon place Sacramento where she stood three days since . . .
THE TELEGRAPH--The telegraphic lines were down last evening in every direction, but workmen were out placing them in repuir.
DESTRUCTION IN THE INTERIOR.
The only news we were able to obtain from the North yesterday, was by the Marysville papers and passengers. The rise at Marysville exceeded that of any previous year. It was, if anything, more distressing than the inundation in this city, for the reason that the rise commenced at about eleven o'clock at night, and soon deluged the west end of the city. The rise was rapid from both the Feather and Yuba, and between the hours of six and seven in the morning, the Merchants' Hotel, a firm and substantial building, fell to the ground.
Another three story building on E street, between First and Second, fell also. The steamer Defiance sailed around the city picking up those in perilous condition. The banking house of Rideout & Smith (late Low Brothers & Co.), corner of First and High streets, was sixteen inches under water. The Iron Foundry of H. J. Booth & Co. was some four feet under water. The water stood about even with the city grade on Monday at noon. About one mile east of Marysville, seventy-five milch cows belonging to J. Hoffstader were drowned.
The following detailed account of the condition of affairs at Marysville is from the Appeal :
Marysville is now slowly emerging from a flood, more disastrous and extensive in character than any which has been known since the place was settled by white people. On Saturday, the rivers were slowly rising, but not rapidly enough to justify the opinion that there would be much of a flood, but by Sunday morning at daylight it was found that the Yuba had backed up into the slough to such an extent that all the lower part of the town below E street was in danger, and the flats were fast filling up with water. The rain continued to fall in torrents during all of Sunday, and by night one sheet of water was stretched from the slough above Third street to the Yuba, making islands of most of the buildings below E street, on both sides of the slough, below Fourth street. All night long of Sunday the rain fell in sheets, and the wind blew furiously, adding to the terrors of those who watched through the night.
About daylight on Monday marning the outer side wall of J. L. Eaton's store, on the Plaza, fell with a tremendous crash, the foundation having been completely undermined by the water, which had now risen to such an extent as to cover the whole of that part of the city, except where the street was higher than the adjacent lots. Mr. Eaton's family reside in the upper part of the store, and they were hurried out at once, in their night clothes, and taken to the Merchants' Hotel, around the corner, on First street, and in about ten minutes after, to the horror of every one, the floors of that building gave way, and a great portion of the interior of the hotel was precipitated in a ruin, the whole of the cellar supports being suddenly cut out by an immense body of water which rushed in.
The alarm which prevailed was frightful in the extreme, for at that early hour but few were up in the house, and the inmates, among whom were many families, were still abed, and came rushing out in their night clothes, and barefoot, in the rain and water. To add to the terrors of the hour, other brick buildings began to crash, a large brick store house in the rear of the Merchants' falling with a tremendous noise.
Then the interiors of all the stores on the upper side of First street, around the corner to Lennox & Elwell's on the Plaza, fell one after another. The fire alarm bell now rang, and numerous citizens went to the rescue with teams and skiffs, and began taking people and goods to places of safety.
Rev. D. Deal, of the Methodist Church, living near the slough, was awake all of Sunday night, and before the Merchants' Hotel fell, heard cries of distress from the west side of the slough, and, ringing the bell of the church, brought boats to the rescue, and some families were taken from the roofs or upper stories of their houses, half under water, and when morning dawned the entire flat which lies below Sixth street, on the west aide of the slough, was one sheet of water, numerous small houses floating around, horses, cows and hogs swimming for dear life, and roofs covered with affrighted pigeons and poultry.
All that portion of town bordering on the slough which makes into the Yuba above A street was afloat by daylight, and as the water rapidly rose during the forenoon, house after house was submerged, many of the smaller ones going off with the rapid tide, which set toward the Yuba. Dr. Teegarden's family were early driven out, and sought refuge in the residence of A. D. Starr, near by, but were soon after driven to the upper floors, the water rising to a hight of four feet in the parlor story. Starr's mill, near by, was also under water to a disastrous extent, his brick storehouse being nearly filled with water.
Covillaud's and Hoffstader's ranches, up the Yuba, were early under water, the families being compelled to seek refuge in the upper stories, whence they were rescued by the steamer Defiance, which went around the Yuba bridge and took off the people in distress, who were destitute of the means of escape. Hoffstader lost all of his dairy cows, some seventy-five in number, all of them valuable American stock, which, with the damage to the property, stacks of hay, etc., floated off, will amount to a loss of $10,000.
The rapidity of the rise of the water was unprecedented, as when it began to break over the high ground next the river the rush was tremendous, but by noon the flood had reached the highest point, and news came in that a subsidence of two inches.
had been noted in the upper part of the town. At that time the only portions of the town not submerged were as follows: Oa the Yuba water front, from the corner of High street to the foot of A street; on R street to Eighth, on Eighth street from C to A street, and on A street to Seventh. The entire lower part of A street from Seventh down to Second, was under water, and all of the cross streets over to C street, except here and there in spots which were higher than others; and nearly all of the part of the town east of C street was navigable with boats. Southward, the whole plain toward Eliza was one sheet of water, dotted with trees, roofs of houses,
floating animals and wrecks of property of every description. The Yuba bridge, being supported at either end by high embankments, stood unshaken, but the water was up to its sills, and the steamer Defiance was able to navigate around its outer end, with ten or twelve feet of water over the turnpike. Westward, one vast water level stretched to Yuba City where a kindred inundation was raging--the entire town site being under water. Northward the plains were cut up into broad streams of running water, which were swiftly coursing toward the great sheet of water stretching between Yuba and Feather rivers, up as far as the residence of Judge Bliss, unbroken except by the upper stories of houses, trees and floating debris.
Any estimate of the total amount of losses must be necessarily vague, and not to be depended upon. We shall not, therefore, attempt even a rough estimate at present, though it must amount to several hnndred thousand dollars. Besides the losses on the Covillaud and Hoffstader ranches, above noted, there was a large amount of stock, mostly horses, lost from the Qnintay ranch, many being valuable animals, belonging to parties in town. From the sheep ranch of Glazier Brothers & Co., a large number of sheep were lost, valued at ten or twelve thousand dollars, and a large lot of cattle belonging to Glazier & Thompson were supposed to be lost from a ranch in Sutter county.
The heaviest losses in town were, of course, the losses to the dealers on the Plaza and First street, near the Merchants' Hotel. R. E. Brewster, L. H. Babb, Lennox & Elwell, J. L. Eaton, and others, are heavy losers, their goods being precipitated in broken piles into the cellars, filled with water. The losses of boarders and the lessees of the Merchants' Hotel are also considerable, valuable furniture, pianos, clothing, cash and small valuables being involved in an inextricable wreck, smashed and wet; though, by great exertions, many articles were saved.
The loss falls very heavily upon small property holders in the northern end of town, where many small houses were torn by the strong current from their foundation and carried off beyond recovery, their unfortunate owners literally houseless and homeless, barely escaping, in some instances, with their lives. On Third street, below D, Hudson, Willey & Caine had a great quantity of lumber, which was floated off, though some of it was saved by being boomed between the houses at the end of Second street. Williams Co.'s flouring mills were filled with water up to three or four inches on the main floor, where all the flour was stored, and the loss to gardens, fences, out-houses and small sheds is scarcely calculable now.
Over the valley south of Marysville, which is lower land than north of the city, the flood extends for several miles, till it meets the first swell of the foothills, where it takes off in numerous sloughs, most of which impassable to teams and horsemen, some being raging torrents. This part of the valley was submerged very suddenly, and to a greater depth than has been known since 1853. All of the bottom land farms are flooded, and many were stripped of all the stock upon them. Forty horses were swept from Hedges' ranch, besides a large number of cattle and hogs.
Hedges' house stands on a high knoll, which is now an island, the water filling the cellar. Numbers of hogs were drowned on Low's ranch. Where Feather river sweeps past Eliza, stock of every kind could be seen yesterday constantly passing down stream, some alive and strugglmg, and bellowing or squealing for life. The flood was also very destructive to game.
Hare and rabbits have been destroyed by thousands. The hands on the stearner Defiance caught about a dozen large hare floating down stream on brush, hay and timber; and others were noticed perched on tree-tops, alone in a waste of waters. Several hogs were also caught for the steamer's table. The river was yellow with pumpkins and squashes occasionally.
Large quantities of these vegetables had been left in the fields ungathered. Portions of corn and potato crops, also left ungathered, were of course utterly destroyed. At Simpson's, three miles up the Yuba from town, the old bridge was carried away; but the new structure, recently built, was still standing yesterday afternoon, its sills about three feet above the water. It is seven hundred feet long, and the sills are secured by iron bolts to piles driven twenty feet into the river's bed. Mrs. Simpson's house stands on a high knoll, unaffected by the water, which sweeps along at this point in a current of fearful strength. Her poultry house and poultry, with some fencing, were swept off, and. some damage done to grain on storage in an outhouse. Turner's bridge, just above Simpson's, is reported to have been destroyed, and probably has been. The ferry boat at Simpson's was saved.
Passengers who came from Lincoln by stage, on Sunday morning, found Bear river so well up that one end of the bridge at Campbell's was partly afloat. The driver hesitated to go on, but the passengers insisted, and he reluctantly pushed ahead. Dry Creek was forded without difficulty, though pretty full, but, arrived at Eliza, just at evening, after a slow and laborious drive, our irrepressible travelers found a wide waste of turbid and swift water before them.
They went on afoot four or five miles to Simpeon's, hoping to cross to the city in a skiff, but the passage was too hazardous to be attempted, though earlier in the day the passengers and express matters by a previous stage had been boated across. Yesterday afternoon the steamer Defiance picked up the water bound travelers at Eliza, besides rescuing others along the banks. In going to Eliza, which is about six miles below town and the mouth of the Yuba, the Defiance did not follow the main channel of either stream but steamed straight across the submerged prairie, over fences, fields, telegraph wires, and perhaps houses. Within a mile of town the telegraph poles remained standing in calm water, their tops visible for a short distance only. From the deck of the steamer the city looked as though it stood in the centre of a vast lake.
Many persons living on the bottoms south of town narrowly escaped with their lives. Two Mexicans saved themselves by climbing a tree, where they remained several hours until rescued by a boat frem Low's ranch. The family of Hooper, above Simpson's, was rescued by a boat sent from the latter piece. Small boats could pass from Low's ranch to the city yesterday, the current not being very strong; but further up the Yuba, the flood could not be navigated without great risk, and boatmen refused to carry passengers at all, only going out to save endangered human lives. The country to the southward, as far as the eye can reach, presents a very melancholy spectacle, being one waste of muddy water, on which are floating houses, fences, lumber, hay, straw, and the dead and living bodies of hogs, cattle, and horses.
The Yuba is said to be sixteen feet above its usual level, and the suddenness of its rise is unprecedented, and surprised everybody living in the bottoms, who else might have prevented considerable less of property. The low land, sloughs, and creeks, between the Yuba and Bear rivers, are now quite impassable, und the Bear river bridge at Campbell's has doubtless been washed away. The stages and stage horses that were unable to reach the city from that direction on Saturday and Sunday, have been taken to the Yuba ranch, near the foot hills.
There are a great many stories current of deaths from drowning and falling walls, but we can hear of only two upon which any reliance can be placed, strange as it may appear, when we remember the crowded hotel in which the floors fell without a moment's warning.
A man, coming into the city on horseback, Sunday afternoon, was drowned near the Quintay ranch, and a woman was carried off in a small wooden house from the flat beyond the slough while a boat which had rescued her children was gone to town with them. The house went down the current so rapidly that it could not be seen when the boat had returned to the spot where it stood. The frequent sight of houses floating ark-like along the swift current was novel indeed, some of them being upright, some bottom up and some floating along lopsided. One house, full of furniture, lodged near Fonrth street in a tree, and the furniture was saved by boatmen.
The foot bridge across the slough at the head of E street, was floated off early in the day and went up country for a mile or two on the rising tide, but came back en the ebb. Many narrow escapes occurred at the Merchants' Hotel, when the floors caved in; one lady fell through in her night dress, but was rescued without any serious injury. A gentleman lodging in the second story, next door, fell through to the basement, where he was held across the floor joists by his arms, the falling bricks rattling about him.
Two other gentlemen, Dr. W. P. Rice and Lambert, fell from the third story of the hotel to the basement, being bruised badly, but broke no bones. One old gentleman, whose retreat from his bedchamber was cut off by the falling of the stairs, escaped by tying his bedclothes together and letting himself down to the balcony below. But we could fill columns with such small matters without exhausting the catalogue of items.
Skiff building was the order of the day, and though a dozen boats could scarcely be found in the morning, before night the waste of waters was covered with a fleet more numerous than that which threatens the coasts of Secessia about these days. The steamer Defiance was made useful by her owners during the day in cruising up and down the sloughs and streams, taking off the housewrecked inhabitants in the vicinity. The Defiance went up the slough as far as the head of D street, and probably none of those who witnessed it will ever forget the strange sight of a steamer away up there, where the dust was blowing but a few weeks since. The Defiance blew a tune or two to congratulate the inhabitants on the subsidence of the waters, and snorted her way back to the deeper water. But nobody who lives in Marysville to-day will ever forget the great flood of December 9, 1861, unless we should be so unfortunate as to have its terror and disaster washed away by the rising wave of another and a greater.
The following statement in regard to the fall of the Merchants' Hotel was published in yesterday's Bee:
As there are so many erroneous statements about the falling of the "Merchants' Hotel" in Marysville, I am requested to write for publication what I saw and know of it.
Col. D. W. Welty, Judge H. H. Hartley, Mr. Wheatley and myself, went up on the Swallow on Sunday, and arrived at Marysville about five P.M. We all put up at the Merchants'. The smell in the house was very disagreeable, which satisfied me there was water in the cellar. I went out and examined to see if the joists rested upon a center wall--which is very apt to be constructed temporarily, when, indeed, it is a wall that bears twice as much weight as an outer wall, when the joists meet upon it.
I thought the joists extended to the main walls, but it was too dark for me to satisfy myself. I asked Mr. Low if the house was safe. He answered that he did not know the house had been sinking. If the house had been sinking, I concluded, as it was an old house, it must have sunk to a firm foundation, and therefore went to bed. Col. Welty and myself occupied No.28--partly over the office of the house. When we had stripped and were ready for bed, I looked for matches, but finding none, contented ourselves with a bell rope.
After talking some time we fell asleep. About five in the morning Col. Welty heard a crash, as if a wall had fallen; but knowing I had slept but little the night before, he would not wake me, thinking it could not be the wall of the hotel. But very soon there was another crash, which waked me. We both got up; it was very dark. A boy came to the door; we asked for matches or a light, and he went away. Col. Welty found his pantaloons; I could not find my clothes.
We stepped to the door to see if the boy was coming, Col. Welty says, "We must get out of this." Just then came another crash, and I went back, as I thought, to our room, to see if I could get some clothes; but found nothing but a gulf below, where the bricks were falling, and from which the dust and screams of women and children were mingling in terrible confusion. I went back, and the Colonel and myself ran through various passages, trying in the dark to find our way out. At length he found a window that opened out, so that by considerable effort we might reach the wall of another house.
The window was rendered very tight by the sinking of the walls, but we got it open, and he reached its wall, which was also sinking. After he had helped me over, we passed over that house and found it separated by a passage of about six or seven feet wide--the wall seemed to be cracking--the roof had partially sunk. He found a board about six inches wide that would just reach the two walls, over a chasm of about thirty feet in appearance. Daylight had just then appeared enough to show us our perilous condition, the board he laid on the two walls barely reaching them.
The Colonel instantly passed over and offered me his hand to help me over but I did not think it would. bear my weight, and I knew he could not hold up two hundred pounds in one hand; but he very correctly said, "It's the only chance" taking care not to step on the center of the board, I made the trip. On we went to another house, found a window fast, broke it, got in, and groping our way through the dark, finally found a staircase, down which we gladly made our exit into the street, amid an immense throng of anxious inquirers, with nothing on but a shirt and a sheet I had taken from some bed that we passed. We made our way to the Dawson House, where
Kelly kindly furnished me some clothes; and we returned to the scene of destruction. There we found every effort being made to relieve the sufferers and save the furniture. One of the busiest among them was Judge Hartley, who had escaped from the ruins by tying his sheets together and letting himself down out of the window. The cool, quiet and effective service of Welty and Judge Hartley was truly worthy of commendation.
I lost my clothes, watch, etc., all worth, perhaps, $400. Mr. Welty lost all his clothes, except pantaloons and boots, some books that he had taken with him, and some valuable papers that very fortunately for me can be replaced from the records. To Mr. A. M. Paxton I am indebted for cashing my check when I had dressed and was again all right. The water in Marysville was just going into the principal streets when we left.
Many of the children and ladies escaped from the ruins of the Merchants' with nothing but their night clothes, and it is most remarkable that no one was killed and none very seriously injured. Dr. Price got up and started to go down the steps, but they were not there--so he fell down and another man upon him. Both were slightly injured.
Some ludicrous scenes occurred that will do to laugh over in future--at present let them pass. Ladies that made such narrow escapes, and appeared in the streets in white, without hoops, will not forget the scene very soon, while my friend Judge Hartley, will always recollect some incidents that were rather thrilling to the nerves of a sensitive man.
We came down on the steamer Swallow. She waited until nearly twelve o'clock for those that were coming down. Down as far as Nicolaus the land on both sides was covered with water. Horses, hogs and cattle were wading around or standing in the water. The damage is terrible. The water below Feather river was not out of its banks.
As we passed through Sacramento drawbridge the boat struck and tore off the ladies' cabin. Two ladies were injured, but not seriously.
As I have already written more than you will want to publish, I must stop.
The Merchants' Hotel is a perfect wreck, but the outer walls were standing.
Yours, A. M. Winn.
Sacramento, December 10, 1861.
At Nicolaus, as we are informed by the proprietor of the American Hotel at that place, the water rose to a point three feet higher than at any time last year. The American was the only house above water on Monday--the average depth of water being about two and a half feet. We learn from the same source that the towns of Vernon and Fremont were also submerged.
The whole country between the Feather and Sacramento rivers, nearly up to Yuba City, is covered with water.
P. M. Norton, a teamster from Forest Hill, informs us that the Crandall and North Fork roads, in Placer county, are under water and impassable. Four stage horses were drowned at Auburn Ravine on Monday, and the driver narrowly escaped.
Mr. Milliken of this city, who arrived from Folsom yesterday, informs us that the Salmon Falls bridge at Coloma, and the wire bridge across the North Fork of the American at Whisky Bar, are all swept away by the flood.
We have been informed that the town of Oroville has suffered considerably, but have been unable to obtain any particulars.
James Street, of the telegraph line, arrived in the city yesterday forenoon, from Salt Lake.
He left Folsom in the morning train at the usual hour, and arrived by steam at the first break in the railroad, about three miles from the city. From that point half a mile of the road is washed away. Oa a portion of the track, wood and iron work had floated about a quarter of a mile to the southward. The water still passing through this break renders it impossible to cross except by boats.
Mr. Street chartered a boat, there being none provided by the railroad company, and crossed to Sutter's Fort. At Folsom the water had fallen yesterday morning six and a half feet below the highest point of the day before. The two bridges across the American remained uninjured, but the trestle work of the railroad bridge, used in its erection, was carried away.
No portion of Folsom was overflowed. The cars were running regularly to Lincoln, which point is also free from any indications of inundation. During the two days occupied by Street in crossing the mountains--Saturday and Sunday--it rained incessantly. The snow was nearly all washed away; the roads across the mountains were in the worst imaginable condition. The bridge this side of Placerville has been rendered impassable.
There was no snow on the road beyond Carson City for a distance of four hundred and fifty miles.
From all the information we can gather, it appears that the present inundation far exceeds anything that has been known in any of the valleys since the country was first settled by white men.
THE INUNDATION AT BRIGHTON--INJURY TO THE RAILROAD.
As an evidence that the American river was higher Monday morning than it ever has been since the city was settled by Americans, we offer the fact that it flowed over its banks at Brighton, five miles east of the city, and inundated that entire section of country. So sudden was the overflow, that farmers in that neighborhood were compelled to seek safety by taking refuge in second stories and on the roofs of their houses, until relieved from their perilous positions by men in boats. Most of their stock is reported drowned. After breaking over the banks, a circumstance which has never before happened within the memory of Sacramentans, the water spread south to the railroad, which it crossed in a number of places by effecting breaches in the embankment and carrying away the superstructure and track.
The road is passable from Folsom to a point about a mile this side of Brighton, and the cars came down yesterday to that point. From there to the city, passengers made their way as best they might. From where the cars stopped, to Poverty Ridge, there are a number of breaks, the largest of which is at what is known as Kip's Cut. Several were made a few hundred yards east of the ridge.
Large logs were floated across the country, a number of which were lodged on the railroad. Some of them are reported, by those who have seen them, to be from three to four feet in diameter. After crossing the railroad, the water submerged the upper Stockton road for some two miles, and then made its way westward into the tules between here and Sutterville.
One of the main bodies of water crossed south of the residence of L. W. Harris, on the ridge; another body crossed the lower Stockton road a short distance this side of the ridge near the Louisiana race track.
At this point, about three miles from the city, the water is reported to have been from ten to fourteen feet in depth; this road is still impassable. From the course the flood took at Brighton, we conclude that some of the water from that point made its way to the city; that which inundated it came principally from breaks in the old levee, near the Tivoli House, which is some distance outside of the city, and the overflow this side of Smith's Garden. These streams united and rushed down the old slough, to and past the Fort, and outside the East levee, until it met the railroad embankment. We are informed that the water was backing up against the railroad as early as five o'clock in the morning; if this statement is correct, it must have been a couple of hours in backing up high enough to run over the levee into the city.
Had the railroad embankment been cut when the water was first discovered, in all human probability the calamity of being again submerged would have been spared the city.
The crevasse made in the railroad embankment, between Sixteenth and Eighteenth streets, is reported to be about five hundred and fifty feet in length. This is where the trestle bridge was first built, and where one should be again constructed. We still adhere to the opinion before expressed that, had the railroad company kept the trestle bridge at that point, as the ordinance required. Sacramento would not have been submerged.
The breaks in the R street levee, upon which the railroad is located, are seven. The first at Fifth street, 100 feet; second, at Sixth, 200 feet; third, near Eighth, 350 feet; fourth, at Tenth,
60 feet; fifth, at Twelfth, 20 feet; sixth, at Thirteenth, 100 feet; seventh, at Fifteenth, 150 feet. Numerous breaks were also made in the levee from Sixteenth to Thirty-first street.
These breaks must all be repaired, as well as the trestle bridge built at Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets, before the cars can run into the city. The Superintendent thinks he will be able to make repairs in three or four days so as to enable the cars to run to the Ridge. For the information as to the effects of the flood on the railroad, we are indebted to the courtesy of J. H. Nevett, who, in company with J. P. Robinson, Superintendent of the road, examined the line from here to Brighton.
THE FLOOD IN SACRAMENTO.
The morning sun yesterday rose bright and beautiful over our city, but its beams fell upon a desolate and dreary scene. The waters had subsided during the night three or four feet, leaving L street and all the streets north of it beds of mud, strewn with planks from sidewalks and crossings, and amid which boats and rafts, used in their navigation the day before, lay helplessly stranded. South of L street, however, all the city was still submerged, and boats and rafts afforded the only means of locomotion in them. The scene in this part of the city, where the first fury of the flood was spent, was one of dismal devastation.
Scores of capsized houses lay where they had been lodged against trees or other capsized and toppling dwellings, great piles of stray lumber and wood were floating about, and carcases of drowned cattle, horses and swine here and there disfigured the general wreck, amidst which boats and rafts were plying industriously, filled with people in search of their damaged household effects. On Ninth street, between K and R, were the bodies of fourteen or fifteen horses, and the loss of property belonging to families, resident there, was especially large. It is still difficult to ascertain the loss of life by the flood with any degree of exactness, owing to the multiplicity of wild exaggerations, the still continuing bustle and confusion, and the great difficulty of locomotion.
The body of a man named Levefre, whose family lived at the corner of Thirteenth and K streets, was recovered yesterday afternoon from the cistern at the corner of Ninth and M streets, by George Lloyd and Pat. Callaghan. At the time he drove in with his team, he was accompanied by a boy, who has also been reported drowned, but the boy was safely rescued by J. C. Weston. The bodies of the two horses, with the wagon and harness, were also taken out.
J. Kyberg and his son, who resided near Sutter's Fort, are missing. They were last seen in some kind of a box, on the water.
J. Smith, the Bee carrier, has not reported himself. He and his family, a wife and three children, were at his house surrounded by water. Their friends thought they had left in a boat, but nobody seems to know anything about them. It was again reported last evening that they were safe.
Mrs. Mary May, wife of T. C. May, was reported drowned, but the report was a false alarm.
A rumor came from Sutterville yesterday afternoon that twenty or thirty dead bodies had been recovered there, but the story is utterly incredible, although it would not be surprising if several others were drowned of whom we have no account. During Monday night, persons, from one to three miles down the river, state that they saw a number of houses floating past, and there is also a painful, and we hope unfounded, report that in several cases female voices vainly calling for help, were heard in the floating houses.
The loss of property by the inundation is immense, probably amounting in the aggregate to a million of dollars. The principal losses are of buildings, household furniture, and wood. Many merchants on J and K streets suffered heavily in the damage done by wetting their stock, but very generally they succeeded in piling their more valuable goods on upper shelves and boxes ont of the way of drenching. H. M. Bernard, carriage maker, lost about $3,000 worth of carriage lumber, which was swept away, but saved a large lot of carriages and seasoned timber uninjured. It is estimated that seventy-five or a hundred buildings have been washed away from their foundations, but it is impossible to state the number with exactness.
Two sections of Lisle's bridge, across the American river, were swept off by the flood at dusk Monday night, but lodged near the Sacramento bridge, and are now secured near George Cooper's, foot of I street. These were the new sections built to replace the portion of of the bridge carried away last Winter, and the proprietors state it was through no fault of construction or weakness of the timbers that the bridge was again affected, but because it was built too low, catching the drift wood swept down by the flood.
The reported rapid falling of the American river at Folsom gives ground for hope that we have seen the worst of this disastrous flood; for if the river should continue to fall the lower streets will be gradually drained off through the openings made in the R street levee. Gangs of men were at work yesterday in K street, at the corner of Ninth, cutting a passage for the water to run off from J and K. streets. On Q street, near Seventh, at dark last night, the water was two feet deep and still slowly subsiding.
At nine o'clock, last evening, the water in the Sacramento was, at about twenty feet, being a foot lower than on Monday night. We judge that the river has been falling very slowly during the day.
It is gratifying to record that those of our citizens who escaped the flood have exercised a generous hospitality .towards the sufferers. Governor Stanford and Dr. Nixon took into the second stories of their houses a large number of homeless women and children; so did Mrs. Van Every at her boarding house on L street, and so did many others whom we are not able to particularize.
The Howard Society took possession of the Pavilion, where, on Monday night, they accommodated about two hundred and fifty, and last night three or four hundred. The women and children were furnished with mattrasses, and all had blankets and an unlimited supply of excellent soup, prepared in a cauldron, and coffee and tea. This Society promptly furnished boats for the rescue of such as were in danger, and many others volunteered for the same benevolent work, with boats or such other means as were procurable at the moment.
A. P. Soule and crew, from the steamer Swan, were out all day Monday, doing yeoman's service, without fee or reward. But the flood has also served to exhibit the bad side of human nature. During the life and death struggle in that part of the city where the flood first spent its violence, a number of persons obtained boats from the Front street levee, under pretence of rescuing those who were in imminent peril of drowning, and then took advantage of their extremity to extort money from the sufferers.
One man had placed his wife on the roof of his house, which was already wavering and tottering in the flood, and, we are credibly informed, was obliged to pay one of these pirates $75 in gold before he would take her to a place of safety. In another house a man stood in the water nearly up to his chin, hailing a passing boatman, who responded that he would land him for $15. The man said he had not the money, and the unfeeling wretch thereupon retorted, "I'll leave you to drown, then." And he did leave the sufferer, but he was rescued by a boatman who was working without pay. In several instances men and women were obliged to pay $15 or $20 apiece for riding in a boat a block or two.
The traveling expenses of a young lady who was taken from somewhere up town to a house in L street between Second and Third, part of the way in a carriage and the rest of the way in a boat, amounted to $35. A stranger in the city late Monday evening was charged $25 for boating from the Levee to the City Hotel, on K street, above Third. Men who would thus take advantage of a great public calamity to extort money from the unfortunate would be guilty of any infamous crime, and are wholly unfit for civilized life.
At eleven o'clock Monday night two women were taken by a man named Selby, whose boat was already full, from the roof of a house on Eleventh street near L, where they had been six or seven hours, unable to find a boatman who would convey them to a place of safety. Many incidents of a distressing character are related connected with the flood. The Front street levee was thronged with men, women and children, cattle, horses and hogs, during yesterday, many of whom were sleeping to make up for lost time. It was reported that one woman landed at the levee in the afternoon immediately thereafter gave birth to a child, which lived but a few moments. Another woman (or perhaps the same) stated at the Pavillion, Monday night, that she had given birth to a child that day, but knew not where either her newborn babe or her husband were at that moment.
MARRIAGE EXTRAORDINARY.--At abont halfpast one o'clock P.M. on Monday, officers Yates and Mcintosh, in command of a boat, noticed two ladies and two gentlemen standing at the corner of Sixth and I streets, looking wistfully for some means of conveyance from the spot. The flood had just reached its highest point.
J street was inundated and the whole city was a scene of wild confusion. The officers stated that their boat was at the service of ladies free of charge to any part of the city. The ladies were unwilling to leave the gentlemen and all were taken on board. They had but little to say, but one of the men requested the boatmen to proceed to Seventh and K streets.
On reaching that point he timorously requested them to moor at the steps of the Catholic Church. The request was complied with and the officers had the pleasure of seeing two of the parties married by Father Cassin. "There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune." That of Monday may have been the tide, though that point can't be proven by our citizens generally.
A SAFE ELEVATION.--As necessity is the mother of invention, the pressure of the high water of Monday caused many an odd move on the part of owners for the preservation of their property. Three horses were blindfolded and taken up stairs into Stanford Hall, on K street, near Third. Last evening, a short time before dusk, it was decided to take them down again.
In this operation the blindfolding process alone would not answer so well. The horses would no doubt have reached the bottom if started right, but the owners thought fit to provide a large box into which they were placed one at a time and lowered down the stairway by means of ropes. They were all landed in this manner in safety.
THE RIVER.--The water of the Sacramento stood at sunset last evening about twenty feet above low water mark, having fallen more than a foot within the last twenty-four hours. It is generally presumed that the river will necessarily rise to-day, as the waters at Colusa and Marysville have been very high. Our front levee will stand a rise of several feet, and as the Yolo banks some distance north of Washington are overflowing, it is to be hoped--with all good feeling towards our Yolo friends--the outlet will be sufficient to save our city from another inundation.
BODY FOUND.--At About four o'clock yesterday afternoon, the body of a man named Lefever was taken out of the cistern at Ninth and M streets, having been drowned at that point on Monday afternoon. He was seen to drive to the spot with a span of horses and light wagon. A boy 13 years of age along with him was saved.
The man and horses were drowned. The Coroner impanneled a jury last evening to hold an inquest over the body, but after taking a portion of the testimony, the examination was postponed until nine o'clock this morning. . . .
THE TELEGRAPH.--James Gamble, Superintendent of the California Telegraph Company, started out yesterday with several hands and a boat to repair the line running east from the city. He succeeded in making all the connections to Poverty Ridge. The openings further east will be closed to-day so as to connect with Placerville. The San Francisco line will be looked to to-day.
NOT THE LAUNDRY.--In our account of the flood in yesterday's issue, we designed to say that the overflow of the American river occurred east of the city boundary; the types made us say "east of the City Laundry." As the City Laundry, if there be any, is located at some other point than the one referred to, it wont answer for a landmark in the present case.
RUMORS.--It is reported that a clergyman named Bailey, and his family, who resided in the lower part of the city, have all been missing since the flood of Monday. We are unable to learn anything definite on the subject. A rumor also prevailed yesterday that the wife of S. May had been drowned. The husband informs us that the report is untrue.
THE DEFIANCE.--The steamer Defiance arrived at the levee yesterday afternoon, from Marysville,. where she had been rendering important service in running through several of the most deeply flooded streets, taking off the inmates from second story windows. . . .
RISE IN THE MARKET.--Gum boots took a sudden rise in price about noon on Monday. When the water reached L street they were worth $8, as it came to K they went up to $9, at J to $10, and as the water reached its climax they were sold at $11 per pair. . . .
SLIGHTLY INJURED.--A portion of the plastering of one of the small rooms of the Pavilion fell from the ceiling on Monday night, injuring slightly several women who were sleeping beneath it.
DISPLACED.--A considerable portion of the lower floor of the Pavilion has been loosened and forced from its position by the force of the water of Monday afternoon and evening.
FORTUNATE.--Our neighbors at Washington, across the river, have so far been free from inundation this season, although their city grade is not equal in elevation to our own.
HIGHT OF THE FLOOD.
EDITORS UNION: Inasmuch as the calamitous flood that has just visited our city necessarily calls to mind, and would seem to impress more than ever upon our citizens the importance and necessity not only of establishing a grade that will protect our city from damage by sudden floods from the American river, but also the importance and necessity of a thorough and careful examination of our levee protections as well as the immediate surface drainage of the principal business streets in our city, I hand you a few observations:
Ist. The high water mark for 1853 on a sycamore tree, east bank of Sacramento river, at bridge across said river, as noted by Supervisor Granger, is twenty-two feet five and a half inches above zero of city water gauge.
2d. The water rose yesterday, at corner of K and Seventh streets, twenty-two feet eight inches.
At Lindley, Wooster & Weaver's store, corner of Seventh and J streets, twenty-two feet eight inches.
J street, between Second and Third, twenty-two feet eight inches.
At Huntington & Hopkins' hardware house, on K street, between Second and Third, twenty-two feet eight inches.
At George Schwartz's new market house, twenty-two feet eight inches.
Remarking that the granite coping or water table at Schwartz's house is above zero, city water gauge, twenty-three feet, one and one-third inches, then Schwartz, Gates & Co. were fairly five and one-third inches out of water.
The granite coping, or water table at yonr office on Third street, is above zero of city water gauge, twenty-two feet, seven and one-third inches; so that if my observations be correct, there ought not to have been more than two-thirds of an inch of water on the said coping or water table.
By reason of the press of other business, I am obliged to stop here, but at another time I will furnish you the elevation of other prominent objects in the city as compared with zero of city water gauge, flood just gone, and also the proposed Hite and Granger grades.
Respectfully, B. F. Leet.
SACRAMENTO, December 10, 1861. . . .
BROKE DOWN.--Among other damage done by the late flood, a portion of the Plaza fence, on Ninth street, has been washed away.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3341, 12 December 1861 p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
The water in the streets of Sacramento gradually subsided during the night of Tuesday and also yesterday. A slight break in the levee of the Sacramento yesterday, about two miles below the city, it was feared would be enlarged so much as to back up the water materially in a large portion of the city, but such had not been the case at a late hour last night. Wilson Flint and others were engaged last night in endeavoring to obtain a vessel and materials to repair the breach. If attended to promptly our city will be freed from much unnecessary water, which we can now do without very well.
A citizens' meeting was held in this city yesterday afternoon to take into consideration its present condition and to act in the premises. A Committee was chosen to prepare a plan for action. The meeting adjourned to meet to day at the Supervisors' room at eleven o'clock, A.M..
The Marysville papers report the drowning of from one hundred to one hundred and fifty Chinamen at various points on the Yuba, above that city, in consequence of the freshet, and some ten or twelve Americans are reported drowned and missing in the same direction. The flood on the Yuba has been more disastrous than elsewhere, so far as the destruction of life is concerned. . . .
The stage for San Juan and Nevada, with the mails, left Marysville yesterday on the Sacramento boat, for Eliza, from which point they were.transferred to the road.
The Overland Mail arrived in this city yesterday, and was a large one . . . .
ACROSS LOTS.--On Tuesday morning, December 10th, the steamer Governor Dana came down as far as Eliza; on Feather river, over the Sacramento road.
OUR CITY AFFAIRS.
A meeting, not numerously attended, was held yesterday in the room of the Board of Supervisors, to make some provision for obtaining the means to repair the levees and improve the condition of our streets. A Committee was appointed to report to an adjourned meeting which is to meet to-day at eleven o'clock in the room of the Supervisors. The question under consideration is one of such immense moment that it is to be hoped every man who feels an interest in Sacramento wilI be present. Property owners, business men, merchants, mechanics and manufacturers should take this matter in hand and see that something is done, and that right speedily.
The case of the city is so desperate as to require desperate remedies. Work to cost tens of thousands of dollars must be immediately done to. protect, defend and preserve Sacramento from future inundations. The levee, from Sixteenth street to Thirty-first, and up that to the American river, must be rebuilt; from that point it may be thought advisable to repair the old levee, which runs up the river to the high ground beyond Smith's Garden.
There are two bridges to be built across the slough at the end of J and and K streets. A new levee is also to be built at Rabel's Tannery, and for some distance this side. To accomplish this work and place the levees in a condition to defy high water, will require a sum of money which, in our judgment, cannot be obtained from any other source than the Sinking and Interest Fund. The act, in ordinary times, we concede would be illegal, and contrary to moral rules, but under the present circumstances such an act would be, in the eyes of all hnmane communities, pronounced just and right.
The people, by the action of the elements, are placed in a position where it is utterly out of their power to pay, for the present, their public debt, principal or interest, and we insist that it is honorable for them to frankly acknowledge the fact. As to the money in the Interest Fund, it is no more sacred than the promise made in the bonds. The time has arrived for speaking cut [sic] plainly.
If the interest is paid the first of January, and the city left in its present position, there will never be another dollar of principal or interest paid to the public creditors. The city will, from necessity, fail to pay next year, and the odium will be ten times greater than now, because we have before us the best justification for suspending payment, and appropriating money intended for creditors for the salvation of Sacramento. When her safety is secured, we shall then be in a position to talk about resuming payment.
In times of great pressure, banks suspend payment, contrary to law and good morals, and public opinion sustains them. Why ? Because the necessities of the community, as well as the banks, require it.
Sacramento is in a similar condition. She must suspend and apply the specie intended for her billholders to strengthening her position, so as to enable her to stand a heavier run than the one made upon her on Monday. She must save herself first; after that she will be in a condition to save her creditors. Ordinary rules of argument do not apply in this case. People feel as if self-protection was now the highest duty they are called upon to perform. That duty demands that they act immediately, and that they appropriate the money collected from them the past Fall in self defense.
AGENTS STIRRING.--We are informed that
the coupons due next January are most of them in the city, and in the hands of D. O. Mills & Co., as agents, and that offers were made yesterday to the Auditor to indemnify him in any amount required if he would issue the warrants to pay them.
This is rather taking the advantage, or trying to. It will be remembered that a law was passed last session or session before, authorizing the Treasurer to pay the coupons as presented. Until the question is decided as to what course the city is to take in reference to the money in the Interest Fund, the Auditor and Treasurer will be terribly censured if they consent to act for the bondholders and take snap judgment on the citizens. There will be a commotion in this city if such an act is consummated by secret engineering by the agents of the bondholders.
Vigilance is necessary.
MATTERS IN SIERRA.--The Laporte Messenger of Dec. 7th has the following items of local intelligence: . . . .
Nearly all the new fire proof buildings in Laporte leaked badly during the late severe rains. . . .
[for the Union.]
THE PROPOSED FINANCIAL MEASURE.
MESSRS. EDITORS: Not having been present at the informal meeting yesterday, where I understand that it was proposed that certain of our citizens, probably; all those who wish to, shall advance sufficient money to meet the present exigencies of the city, and in return therefor have their property exempt from taxation for a given number of years, I protest now, as I shall before the meeting to-day, against this measure. There cannot be a tenable argument advanced in its favor that is not equally good in favor of doing as you propose--taking the Sinking and Interest Fund; and there are many objections to it that do not rest against your scheme. As regards repudiation, .they are the same--excepting only that one is bold, open, manly; and the other, to use the mildest terms, covert and hidden.
Suppose we take $50,000 now out of our Sinking and Interest Fund. It will be diverted from its use, the law will be violated, and bondholders perhaps will suffer; but it is done openly, under the press of extraordinary circumstances; and if those who are injured cannot forgive, they can appreciate the necessity, and giving it its due weight in mitigation, feeling sure that nothing but the dread calamity under which they are suffering could cause a whole community to violate the obligations of its contracts. On the other hand, raise this $50,000 by a loan to be paid by the exemption of the loaned property from taxation--is it not equally repudiation; an indirect and attemptedly secret seizing of that same Sinking and Interest Fund? Is not 55 per cent, or $27,500 of that $50,000 of taxes which are to be released, as fully and as faithfully pledged to the Interest Fund as the money now in Mr. Bird's hands is?
And are not the other $22,500 as solemnly pledged to the home holders of our floating debt? And as it has not been usual in Sacramento for private individuals to trade with the corporation without getting the best of the bargain and making "a little something," is it not just possible that the property to be released from the $50,000 will be such as without such a stipulation would yield $100,000?
But taking the Interest Fund is illegal--it can't be done. For the sake of the argument, granted; though, by of parenthesis, it reminds me of the story of the lawyer and his quondam client whom he saw looking out of a jail window.
Lawyer--"What are doing there, Bob?" "Licked my 'prentice" "Why, they can't put you there for that." "There's no use your telling me that; I know they can't, but they did." Granting, as I said, for the argument sake, that the taking the Interest Fund directly is illegal, is it not equally illegal to take it indirectly? Is there any difference as to the fact of repudiation, though the manner of taking the money may be changed? The offense consists in diverting moneys from that fund, and it is immaterial whether they are so diverted before or after they reach the Treasury; and the same law that will be violated in one case will have to be broken in the other, with this disadvantage against the scheme for advancing taxes: forty-five per cent of the money unlawfully taken will come out of the fund applicable to our floating debt, out of the pockets of those who have given their merchandise or the sweat of their brows for their claims, and perhaps have them and nothing else to support their families with, whilst in the other case the whole money will come from the funded debt funds.
In either case the fact of repudiation has been committed, and our public credit will suffer the ignominy and disgrace necessarily consequent upon such an act; but such ignominy and disgrace will certainly be less if we openly avow our necessities, and acknowledge that we are compelled to use funds previously pledged, than if we attempt to hide the facts and conceal our depredations.
S. V. R. R. NOTICE.
[drawing of an engine, tender, 2 passenger cars] .
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE
Cars of the Sacramento Valley Railroad will be run as follows:
Leave Brighton at 9 A.M. and 4 P.M.
Leave Folsom at 8 A.M. and 12 M.
As soon as possible arrangements will be made to transport passengers from Sacramento to the cars, of which notice will be given.
J. P. ROBINSON. [Bee copy.] d12
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3342, 13 December 1861 p.1
OUR FLOOD ABROAD.
The San Francisco papers thus comment on the misfortune which befel our city lately:
Accounts from Sacramento represent that much suffering exists among the poorer classes there, who have been suddenly deprived of the ordinary means of subsistence. It is probable that none of these statements have been exaggerated. Many families are cut off entirely from their daily resources for food, and the few boats and flats plying in the streets are insufficient to meet the general requirements. The repeated calamities of flood and flame which Sacramento has suffered, enlist our sympathies cordially in behalf of her citizens in this additional affliction; The ties of humanity, and the fraternal feeling common to all Californians, point out to us the course we should now pursue.
It is not for us to direct the way in which relief should be extended. Let us first raise the money, and there will be no difficulty afterwards in determining what to do with it. Marysville, too, has some demands upon us, and in fact the Sacramento Valley, for the whole region, with the exception of the west bank of the Sacramento, is one sheet of water. Houses have been carried away, stock drowned, and clothing and provisions destroyed.
A public meeting ought at once to be called, and something done to relieve our citizens in the interior in their present distress. It is only necessary to have some sort of an organization in order to secure a favorable response from our citizens. Who will begin the good work? There is not much time to be lost.--Alta.
The accounts of disasters by the present unprecedented freshet, which seems to have ravaged to a greater or less extent nearly every part of the Sacramento Valley, and probably most of the valleys in the northern portion of the Coast Range, begin to pour in upon us from every quarter. The destruction of life and property has evidently been much greater than we were prepared to learn, and still the fear is that the worst is not known. It is quite certain that much suffering now prevails among the inhabitants of a very large division of the State, and the people of San Francisco, who have long enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity, should promptly take steps towards affording all the relief in their power to whoever may have been brought to want by this unexpected visitation.
Marysville appears to have suffered more in the destruction of property than any other of the interior cities, although Sacramento was most completely deluged, and there the most distress among the poorer families will doubtless be felt.
The water evidently passed over Marysville in a strong current, undermining the brick buildings and causing the complete destruction of several of them. The present misfortune, which has befallen so many of our fellow citizens, is one that could not have been provided against, further than to a limited extent, by human foresight. The formation of the country, with high ranges of mountains immediately adjacent to the valleys, will ever subject much of the most habitable portion of the State to frequent loss by freshets; although, from what is known of the past, we may reasonably hope not to see another overwhelming and un-looked-for flood like the present for twenty years to come.--Bulletin.
There is no doubt but that the recent flood in Sacramento--accounts of which are given elsewhere--has caused great want, destitution and ruin. Hundreds have lost their all; families have been, by the waters, driven from home and shelter and, to say the least, great destitution must be the consequence--destitution greater than has ever been caused by a like calamity in California. San Franciscans, who are ever secure from all dangers by flood, should, in their hour of trial and need, think of the people of Sacramento; and not only think of them, but they should contribute liberally toward a Relief Fund to be devoted to the relief of such poor families and persons as have been, by the flood, deprived of their, goods and homes.
We urge San Franciscans to come up liberally in this matter, for we feel assured their liberality will come in good time.--Call. . . .
THE FLOOD AT FOLSOM.--The Folsom Telegraph of December 10th, says :
Yesterday, morning an unusual roaring attracted many people to the river at the suspension bridge, where the river is full of great rocks and holes. Since our view of Niagara we have not seen such a wonderful display of water. It was a flying deluge of muddy water, seemingly so strong, so angry, so determined toward the valley, that a mountain dropped into its course would have been driven away.
Yesterday morning the American river carried away the temporary arch of the great railroad bridge of the Central Railroad, at Folsom. This arch was a lengthy and massive wooden structure, erected to enable the construction of the permanent arch above. The bridge itself is all right.
THE FLOOD AT THE NORTH.
The farmers of Colusa county were driven by the flood to the foot hills of the Buttes taking with them such of their stock as could be hurriedly driven.
Yuba City, opposite Marysville, was all submerged with the exception of the two knolls upon which stand the residences of G. M. Hapson, Indian Agent, and ex-Sheriff Kennard. It is thought that the new Sutter county court house at that place must fall, the walls being pushed out of line about a foot by the settling of the building. A large ranch belonging to the California Stage Company is located on the road to Marysville, four miles beyond Nicolaus. Not a single animal was lost from it. The Marysville Appeal of yesterday, has the following particulars in regard to the losses by the flood at various localities north of that city.
From Chico we learn that the flood at that point was extensive, and large numbers of cattle were drowned. It is reported that the amount of cattle drowned in the vicinity of Missouri Bend, near the mouth of Pine Creek, will reach three thousand, and that ranches and houses without number were submerged by the flood. At Bidwell's Bar the rise of water was said to be four feet higher than at any previous flood, and a great deal of damage was done to property, swept off or ruined by the deposit of sand or sediment swept down by the flood. Nearer Marysville, Bliven's ranch was completely covered, except one spot on which the house stood, untouched; the amount of stock lost from the ranch, however, is very small.
From this point to the Honcut, and around by the Feather river to Marysville, the loss was very large, sheep, cattle, and hay being swept off in a promiscouous wreck. The general loss however, is less than on the Yuba.
The rise of the Yuba at Downieville is reported to have been very sudden, as a flood which had caused some destruction had but just subsided, when the rains of Saturday and Sunday brought up the stream again to such a hight that the town was flooded in a very short time. From the Jersey Flat part of the town many
houses were reported to have been swept away, and every house is said to be gone from Durgan's Flat, while every bridge, flume, and wood work of the sort, in and around Downieville are reported as swept out by the flood which was as violent as sudden.
The first reports from Foster's, Long, Parks' and Ouseley's Bars were much exaggerated. We learn that at all of these places numbers of Chinamen were drowned, varying from eighteen to twenty five at each place. The flood has been very destructive of life to these poor pariahs everywhere, as they always congregate on the river bottoms where they work over old digging or cultivate vegetable gardens. At Foster's Bar the bridge went out, and Batchelder's and Flattery's stores went out, losing many goods.
Several small houses went out at this point, and also at Sand Flat, Long Bar and at Parks'; but except this and loss of flumes and other mining apparatus, the damage was not very large. The largest amount of loss on the Yuba is undoubtedly among the ranch owners near Marysville. The loss of life is not so great as at first reported, many parties who were reported missing having been found in out of the way places, where they had been carried by the flood and force of peculiar circumstances. The Barnes family and Thomas Brophy's family are found to be safe, though they experienced much suffering and discomfort in their perilous condition.
At Nevada many of the lower floors of the buildings were deluged by water, from the large flume which passes through the town. The flume choked up, and the water flowed back and ran over the town. The damage to ditches and bridges in that region was very extensive.
THE LATE RAINS AND OTHER MATTERS IN SIERRA.--A correspondent of the Union, writing from La Porte, December 8th, says:
The rain has been pouring down here for the past forty hours, and it is thicker overhead and looks more like a severe storm than it has at any time. Rabbit creek is higher than it has been known for years. The flume will only carry a small proportion of the water, and the torrent is fast tearing the flume up. We fear it will throw about one hundred men out of employment, who are working above on the creek; we also have grave fears that the bridge across the creek will go off. It is said that Slate creek is so high that the bridge between here and Port Wine is in danger. It has stood several years. Ditches have been constantly breaking during the past twenty hours, although no water is turned in at the head--the water all gathering from the side hills. . . .
THF [sic] FLOOD IN PLACER.--A correspondent of the Union, writing from Auburn, December 9th, says:
The late storm is the severest one I have witnessed since my arrival in this State, which was in '49. We hear of damage being done by the violence of the swollen streams in every direction. Crandall's turnpike road, leading from Auburn to Secret Ravine, will be impassable for heavy teams for at least a month. It will cost about $4,000 to make complete repairs, and the loss of toll will amount to as much more, making their total loss not less than $8.000.
I have not heard from Virginia and Gold Hill yet, but I presume, from my acquaintance with that section of country, that there is no claim or drain-race but what is filled to a level corresponding with the sides or banks of the ravine. On the North Fork I learn the water has been higher this time than it was ever known to be before--carrying away Rice's bridge, at Mineral Bar, on the road from Illinois town to lowa Hill. The North Fork bridge, just above Auburn, on the Yankee Jim road, is also in great danger of taking a sail to Sacramento City, as the abutments on one side are fast undermining, and should it go down it will cut off the whole "divide" from the county seat, except they take the circuitous route via Murderer's Bar Bridge and Folsom. Whisky Bar bridge has also disappeared amongst the wreck of matter, and will probably be picked up next Summer in Sacramento for kindling wood.
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
Our citizens are moving energetically for the future welfare of the city, and the Board of Supervisors are so acting in concert with them that there is a fair prospect that immediate and decisive measures will be prosecuted for security against any future inroads of the water. The sum of $75,000 has, in accordance with the recommendation made at the public meeting yesterday, been transferred by the Supervisors from the Sinking and Interest Fund to a Special Fund created by them for leveeing purposes. Reports of the several meetings in this connection will be found in our columns.
The break in the Sacramento levee, some two miles below the city, increased a great deal in depth yesterday and some twenty feet in width. The river must find its level very shortly, and its hight last night was within two feet of the highest water in the city on Monday. San Francisco has come to the aid of our sufferers most generously. Over six thousand dollars is now in this city from that source, for the relief of those who are in distress by reason of the flood. A relief meeting was held also last evening at Platt's Hall.
Telegraphic communication in the State is pretty generally suspended, and the Overland Telegraph is also disarranged. . . .
THE FLOOD IN NAPA VALLEY.--Private letters from Suscol--four miles below Napa writby Simpson Thompson to J. L. Sanford of this city, gives an account of the flood in that region. Writing on December 9th, Thompson says:
We have had a terrific storm. There will be no more trouble about dry ground in plowing. The Suscol creek was all over the nursery last night, washing out around some trees and filling up around others--doing, in my opinion, much unnecessary work.
Writing in the forenoon of yesterday, December 10th, Thompson says :
Since yesterday forenoon there has been such a freshet in Napa river, and so much drift stuff, the steamer was either disabled or afraid to venture out. [She arrived in San Francisco yesterday evening, twenty-six hours behind time] The flood has given some of the shanties Hail Columbia in Napa. A number of the houses in Cornwell's addition, or what is commonly called Texas, were entirely washed away. Lynch Brothers' wholesale and retail liquor store was carried away. Hathaway's men and the writer, with another man, were on the river opposite, when some of the houses were floating down. I caught the tin roof of a house, and with a rope made it fast to the bank.
This answered first rate as a raft. With a boat-hook we caught a large lot of lumber, posts--mostly new--also doors, chairs, tables, washstands, and poultry. On a door we picked up two chickens and a duck. We also secured three barrels--one full of cognac--besides a keg of "Old Tom," demijohns, etc.
The banks of the river for two or three miles are completely lined with lumber, both old and new, whisky barrels, etc. One lumber yard that was on the bank near where the old bark used to lie, was completely swept away. I suppose the people about Vallejo caught much of the drift, as much must have gone down in the night and early in the morning. We did not go to "wrecking" till ten o'olock [Tuesday morning], when we saw the house going down.
The ferry boat at Suscol was carried away in the night—supposed by a floating house or a pile of lumber.
Napa is inaccessible now with a team, as the embankments made this Summer have been washed away.--San Francisco Bulletin.
THE FRESHET IN AUBURN.--The Union Advocate of December 9th has the following :
The great rain storm which has prevailed for the past few days arrived at its greatest violence last evening. (Sunday), and continued with unprecedented violence until a late hour this morning. The river is said to have risen at a point near this place--the Ragged Staff Co.'s claim--to the hight of fifty-five feet above low water mark, carrying away houses, fluming lumber and everything standing upon the banks. As we write (twelve o'clock M) reports reach us that the North Fork bridge is in imminent danger of being washed away. The water is said to be running over it, and still rising, and though very strong, the stress upon it is so great that it cannot be expected to stand an hour longer.
We have just learned that the Mineral Bar bridge is washed away. A county official who has just returned to town from the lower part of the county hadn't time to give any particulars of damage beiow, but has authorized us to say in his name that "all the bridges from h--ll to breakfast were washed away."
Auburn Ravine is high enough to float the largest class steamboats, and affords water enough to entitle it to be declared navigable for any sized craft. Houses here in town have been carried off by the water, and from all points we hear of immense damage having been done to gardens, orchards, farms, fences, etc., the like of which was never heard of before. It is supposed that large numbers of cattle have perished in the low lands bordering on the Sacramento and Bear rivers.
Two men came very near losing their lives in the Auburn ravine, in Auburn, by having their houses carried away by the freshet, while they were confined in them, in the night, little expecting such an occurrence. The North Fork bridge reported gone has proved to be incorrect. Four horses, attached to the Sacramento and Gold Hill stage, belonging to Samuel Moore, were drowned in attempting to cross Auburn Ravine at Fort Tojam or Fox's Flat. The ranch or garden spot of Charley Morrison, one mile from town, was entirely destroyed and he driven away from home
in the dead hour of night. The valuable vineyard, owned by Geo. W. Applegate, and situated at Lisbon, has been destroyed. The bridge crossing the Middle Fork of the American, near Coloma, has been swept sway and become a total loss. . . .
PRACTICAL SYMPATHY.--The expressions of sympathy by San Francisco people with the sufferers by the flood in this city, some of which are copied into the UNION this morning, has been followed up in a substantial manner. At a little past noon yesterday a check was received in this city, by telegraph, from F. MacCrellish & Co., proprietors of the Alta California, for two hundred and thirty dollars, to be paid to the Howard Benevolent Association for the relief of the sufferers by the flood.
One hundred dollars of the amount came from MacCrellish & Co., one hundred from J. C. Beideman, and the remaining thirty dollars were left at the Alta office to be appropriated as above.
At a later hour in the day the following dispatch was sent from San Francisco by R. G. Sneath to Sneath & Arnold of this city: "Ten thousand dollars raised for your sufferers. Six thousand goes up to-night."
Such prompt and generous action is worthy of the commercial metropolis of the State, and the feeling which prompted it will be warmly appreciated by our people.
WHERE THE WATER CAME FROM--THE DESTRUCTION IT CAUSED.
All accounts from the interior unite in representing the late freshet as the most fearful which has visited the State since its occupation by Americans. The floods have been higher and more destructive on the Yuba and American rivers and their branchea than ever before experienced. The water has in many localities reached elevations confidently supposed to be far above danger from high water, destroyed immense amounts of property, and in some instances life has been sacrificed when persons were so sure they were beyond danger as to remain until too late to escape.
The loss of stock in the upper valley of the Sacramento, and on the Feather, Yuba and American rivers, has been fearfully great. Of course no estimate can yet be approximated. Many farmers have been stripped of everything except their land. Millions of feet of lumber and hundreds of thousands of cords of wood, and in many instances houses and barns have been swept away by the resistless current.
Between this city and Sutterville, houses and furniture including bedsteads, beds, mattresses, bureaus, looking glasses, chairs, sofas, and kitchen furniture of all sorts--are lodged in one indiscriminate mass on land a little higher than that which surrounds us. Bees and beehives may also be put into the list, for hundreds, if not thousands of them, have been sacrificed by the inundation. The destruction of horses, cows, hogs, poultry, etc., has been fearful.
The real loss to the city can never be known, for a great portion is in that kind of property which adds to family comforts, but which can never be estimated. Upon the industrious poor, the men who have labored for years to purchase and adorn homesteads for their families, the loss is crushing. The majority of this class of citizens were settled in the southern portion of the city where the water was deepest, and many have lost not only their furniture, clothes, provisions, flower gardens, etc., but their houses have been floated away and deposited on other lots or carried by the flood towards Sutterville, if not below that town.
Their all is gone. Houses were swept through the crevasses in the R street levee-- some of them two stories-- and so powerful was the current that when two met below the levee the commotion was so great that they would scatter and drop into the boiling flood as if built of paper.
The high tide of the American appears to have been precipitated into the valley in one great wave, as if produced by the sudden bursting of the walls of an immense reservoir. Scarcely a bridge on its branches is left standing. At Auburn the North Fork rose fifty-five feet above low water; at Folsom, the flouring mill of Stockton & Coover, situated on a bar in the wide canon above the town, supposed to be above the highest water, was submerged to the second floor, and came near being carried away by the force of the current. After the volume of water rushed through the canon at Folsom, it appears to have rolled over the county on each side in resistless waves, which prostrated everything before them.
The devastation of the water before it reached the city was terrible. It overtopped the bank at Brighton--a thing before unknown, and spread over the plain south of the river with a force which removed fences, broke over and through the railroad embankment, depositing in its course trees and logs upon the track, some of which would measure four feet in diameter. In some instances the superstructure of the road was lifted from the track with the rails, and removed to some distance.
On the opposite side of the river from Brighton, the flood took its way across the country towards the Sacramento, taking with it pretty near everything with which it came in contact.
Norris' ranch, of tens of thousands of acres, was completely submerged, an event which had not before happened within the memory of the oldest Indian on the ranch. Thirty miles of fence, made of redwood posts and boards, was lifted out of the ground, and with the lumber provided for building a new house, floated the owner knows not where. Hundreds of cords of wood, timber and uprooted trees have been deposited on the ranch, as well as incalculable quantities of sand. The water filled the houses on the place, one of them so full that the inmates were driven for shelter to a hay stack, which fortunately withstood the pressure.
About a mile or so below Brighton, and some three or more from the city, is the mouth of the slough which formerly discharged large quantities of water when the river was full, past the Fort, thence into the Sacramento through the sloughs below Sutterville. When the city levees were built the mouth of this slough was closed. The water opened it in 1851; it was again closed in 1853--and from that date withstood all the floods since until last Monday. But the water rose so high as to run over the top of the levee at that point, and eventually cut most of it away, again opening the mouth of the old slough.
The only water from the American which is now running past the eastern limits of the city, comes through this slough. The bank of the river from that point to the eastern boundary of the city, at Thirty-first street, is high, and rarely overflows, except at a few depressions. Through the garden and ranch of Smith, the levee was probably never over two feet high, and as no work has been done on it since 1853, except by individuals, it is now considerably lower than when first built.
Over this levee the high tide of Monday flowed, for probably a mile and a half. There is another slough near the Tivoli House, which opened in 1852, was closed in the winter of 1853, which we understand stood this high freshet. All the points of which we have been speaking, it should be borne in mind, are outside of the city limits, and really beyond its municipal control. We have before stated that the water which rushed out at Brighton with such force, did not flow towards the city; it passed down east and south of Poverty Ridge.
But that which came in at the mouth of the Fort slough, and that which ran over the levee at, and this side of Smith's, flowed directly towards the city until it reached the levee at Thirty-first street; it followed down that levee southward until the railroad embankment was met. As that had been, contrary to law and prudence, made solid, and as it was fully as high as the levee, the water was forced over the top of the latter and into the city, where it was dammed in by the R street levee. Sacramento was thus converted into an immense reservoir, and so remained with her inhabitants afloat in it until breaches were effected through that levee. We have expressed the opinion that the filling up by a solid embankment the space required by ordinance to be left open under the railroad, and was so left when the railroad was first built, was the cause of the inundation.
A prominent citizen, who resides near the point where the water first struck the railroad, and who saw it when it first began to tumble over the levee into the city, declares that, in his judgment, if the trestle work first built by the Railroad Company, as the law directed, had been permitted to stand, the flood would have passed the city, and left it not only unharmed, but a large majority of her
citizens would not have been aware that such a body of water was passing in the rear of the corporate limit. A little water might have made its way into the city where the levee had been cut down for road purposes, but not enough to attract attention.
The responsibility of this distressing and destructive overflow is, therefore, fairly chargeable to the selfishness of the railroad managers, and the neglect of the city authorities to force them to comply with the law.
The fact that the trestle work had been taken away, and earth substituted, because cheaper and more durable than wood, was presented to the Court by the Grand Jury some two years since; the authorities have notified the agents of the company to restore the trestle work, but neglected to inforce their instructions by legal proceedings. People often spoke of the danger, but as Sacramento had so long escaped, the subject was permitted to rest until the supreme folly and wickedness of the act of closing the opening have been demonstrated at a cost of more than a million of dollars and an amount of suffering which no one can estimate.
THE WORK TO BE DONE.
The first work to be accomplished is to obtain money. Without it nothing can be accomplished for the relief and protection of the city, and we have little confidence that it can be raised from any other source than the Sinking and Interest Fund. It is proposed to borrow it from citizens, to be returned in twelve months; but this would be a species of relief predicated on the contraction of another debt. No further debt should be contracted if it can possibly be avoided.
Almost any measure is to be preferred to adding to our million six hundred thousand indebtedness. The plan reported yesterday by the Committee, will meet the case if successfully carried out, and place the city in a better position than she has ever occupied for resisting the assaults of high water. In our judgment the late flood has proved that the city can at a reasonable cost be placed in a position entirely secure from the effects of high water.
But to effect this object a hundred thousand dollars in cash are required. With that sum our levees may be so repaired and improved as to render them impregnable. But no half way work will answer. We must adopt as thorough a system as they have in Germany, and perform the work in like manner. Patching will not answer the purpose.
Up to this time there has literally nothing been accomplished since the flood appeared, by the authorities. They seem to be paralyzed, probably for want of means or credit. A little energy on their part would have enabled them to stop the crevasse two miles balow the city, on the Sacramento.
It was then not more than ten to fifteen feet wide ; it is now from sixty to eighty, and the river pouring a torrent of water through it. As the level inside is several feet below the level of the river, and unless it falls, the volume of water passing through the levee must increase until the level inside and outside are the same. This may take several days, but when that level is found Sacramento will be flooded from back water.
The prospect is not so pleasant as it might be. With force enough and means the crevasse could have been closed yesterday morning ; it may be done still. The President of the Board of Supervisors was to have commenced work on it early yesterday, but did not for some cause.
Last Spring the Board of Supervisors did a silly thing in consenting that the proprietors of the St. George Hotel might cut the I street levee for the purpose of running a sewer through it into the slough. They agreed to put a good stop gate to it, but did not; and when the water rose the sewer was filled with sacks to keep out the water. But it is coming in quite liberally through the sewer, and unless attended to there is danger of a break at that point.
To put this city in a proper position for the Winter will give employment for a thousand men for a month. The levees are to be repaired and raised; one or two good bridges to be built over the slough at the Fort; the streets are to be repaired, the sidewalks and crossings are to be put into a passable condition, and provision made for draining the streets.
With the money all this can be done in a few weeks; without it not a thing will be effected, as the credit of the city is so low that men refuse to work for her if paid in scrip. Money must be had for these improvements or they cannot be made, and if they are not the fate of Sacramento any one may predict. Her destiny is now hanging upon the action of her citizens, If they are equal to the occasion all will be well, and Sacramento will soon be again in a proud position; if they fail her in this emergency they will have lived in California to little purpose.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.--This body yesterday took the responsibility of acting as recommended by the Committee of citizens, and nine-tenths of the community will applaud the act as intended to relieve suffering humanity. Legal or illegal, their motives will be approved by citizens and strangers. As the Board of Supervisors is the legislative body of the county, their orders by ordinance ought to protect the Auditor and Treasurer, if they obey them.
And they would be justified before any jury in the State. The Treasurer may do so, but he is not bound by the law to inquire into the authority of the Board of Supervisors to order him to pay a warrant drawn by the Auditor. If he pays, no jury can be found who would hold him or his securities bound to respond in damages. This would be done on the ground that the Supervisors were responsible to the law, and not the Auditor or Treasurer.
A CARD.--Elsewhere we publish a card from D. O. Mills & Co., denying that they have most of the coupons on the city debts, as agents. They have only two thousand dollars of the amount.
In giving the information, which came from a source in which we had confidence, our sole object was to call attention to what appeared to be a new feature in the case, so far as the Interest and Sinking Fund was concerned. It was not our intention to reflect upon D. O. Mills & Co., as, if those gentlemen had been the agents of the bond holders, we should consider them in the line of their duty when using all legal means to collect the money due their correspondents.
WARNING TO THIEVES.--Since the water has subsided, some thieves have left their tracks in thinly settled neighborhoods. They have visited some houses where the doors could not be shut, and committed depredations. Now that people have very generally either returned to their houses, or placed some one in charge, it is likely that there are as many well loaded shot guns and revolvers in doors as there are thieves on the outside, and if the latter do not go off, the former will. . . .
TELEGRAPH POLES WASHED OUT.--For a distance of one mile, commencing four or five miles below Marysville, the telegraph poles are washed oat of the ground.
THE MUNICIPAL CRISIS.
MEETING OF CITIZENS.
The meeting of citizens called on Wednesday afternoon to consider the present crisis in our municipal affairs, and adjourned till yesterday forenoon, reassembled at the rooms of the Board of Supervisors, at eleven o'clock yesterday morning, with a large accession of numbers. As the Supervisors' room was too small to accommodate the crowd, without calling to order President Shattuck requested those in attendance to meet in the County Court room.
President SHATTUCK called the meeting to order in the County Court room, and said the Committee appointed yesterday to report a plan of action, etc., had just informed him that they would be ready to report in a few minutes
J. H. WARWICK and several others inquired what had been done at the meeting yesterday, and at the request of the President, R D. FERGUSON read, for general informatlion, the brief report of the preliminary proceedings in yesterday's issue of the UNION.
J. H WARWICK said, while they were waiting for the Committee he desired to suggest that all persons present would take pains to ascertain the names of those individuals who had been profiting by this public calamity, by extortionate practices, with a view to giving them the benefit of a notice that should last during their miserable lives, and be a disgraceful entailment to their posterity. [Applause ]
Judge CROSS said he thought it would be well to have a Committee appointed to ascertain the names of all such parties, and moved that Mr. Warwick and twelve others be appointed such a Committee.
B C. WHITING said according to parliamentary usage Judge Cross should be appointed Chairman of the Committee, if raised on his motion, and he hoped the motion would be modified in that respect.
Judge CROSS said he would prefer not to be on the Commitee, although he considered it his duty to do all he could to relieve the distressed and punish offenders. He had made the motion because he took it for granted, from Mr. Warwick's making the motion, that he had some available information on the subject referred to, and as he was one of our Representatives elect, it would be very appropriate that he should serve on the Committee.
Mr. WARWICK said several instances of the nature referred to had been mentioned to him yesterday and to-day. Mr.Haswell had told him of one man charging fifty dollars for conveying food a short distance to a destitute family, and he had heard of a man in a boat threatening to leave a woman to drown unless she would pay him fifteen dollars to save her. He thought they owed it to society to make a dreadful example of such men. They were furnished with boats by charitable individuals to save lives and property, and then took advantage of their possession
of the boats to reap a golden harvest out of the necessities and the very lives of the wives and children of citizens.
GEO O. HASWELL said if such a Committee was raised, and would call upon him, he would give the name of one man who had charged fifty cents a loaf for bread.
WILSON FLINT said this was mere trifling; it was like fiddling while Rome was burning. This city was now in greater peril of flood than it ever had been before, and it was no time now to hunt up and punish offenders. Before to-morrow there was likely to be a break of from 300 feet to a quarter of a mile wide. It was no time for red tape or city ordinances; let them for the time being forget all about such things and go to work, every man of them, to avert the danger. If they had gone to work last night the break might have been stopped easily; to-day it would take four times the material and labor, and to-morrow it would require ten times as much, and probably the work could not be done at all.
There was a shallow flat between the break and the river, and a dam could be built around the break, if they set about it at once. Even those men who had extorted money had done some good, and they wanted even that class of men who would not work for anything but money. Yesterday a hundred men went down to the break and offered to work for five dollars an hour, and nothing less, and finally returned to the city, where, he had no doubt, they were compelled to beg their suppers. For his part, he had been hard at work for three days.
Mr. WARWICK said he had also been bard at work, and if there was work to be done, he was ready to go at it side by side with Mr. Flint, or any other man. He had only offered this motion while the meeting was waiting for more important business.
At this point it was announced that the Committee was ready to report, and
L. B. HARRIS, who had been chosen Chairman of the Committee, came forward and said: I have no written report to make, but will report verbally.
The Committee found a great many difficulties in the way. As everybody knows, this city and its citizens have been drained time and again by private subscriptions, for various purposes, and it is almost impossible to fix upen any plan by which we can raise money. If we have money, we can protect the city; there is no doubt about that. We have fixed upon, or rather decided to suggest two plans. One is to raise money upon the personal security of good men in the city--get them to give their notes as collateral security, and raise the money in that way.
I presume there are enough good men who would come forward and give money for that purpose, but that is to be ascertained only by trying the experiment. There is a question whether we would succeed in that way. Some have thought we could not, unless we got it from San Francisco, and that San Franciscans would be loth to lend their money to Sacramentans at this time. The other plan or suggestion is one that I must say I am a little loth to make, but under the present circumstances I do not think that I have a right to hold back on account of any feelings of delicacy.
The suggestion is, that we take some means of appropriating the interest funds, and it is proposed to do that in this way: I believe that if the Treasurer is indemnified, and the Board of Supervisors will pass the necessary resolutions, he will pay over the money on the warrant of the Auditor. I believe we could indemnify the Treasurer and take this step without the least injury to the bond holders; on the contrary I think it would benefit them, because if we do not raise the money to protect the city they will never get a cent of the principal on the original bonds. They may get the interest now on hand and that is all they ever will receive in the world; while if we take the interest money now on hand to protect the city we may hereafter be able to pay the whole of the principal if we do not pay the interest. I believe there are enough citizens willing to sign the indemnifying bond for the Treasurer.
I lay these two propositions before the meeting and let them choose between them. Several of the Committee are willing to go on the bond for $2,000, and I will for one, so that if the bondholders institute proceedings we can make it up to him. As to the means of protecting the city when the money is raised, that did not come within our province to report upon.
CHARLES CROCKER asked if the Committee had consulted with the Treasurer as to what he was willing to do.
Mr. HARRIS said they had not, but understood that he would acquiesce.
GEORGE ROWLAND asked if any estimate of the expense had been made, so as to know how much money would be wanted.
Mr. HARRIS replied that there had been no estimate, but they thought $30,000 or, $40,000, properly expended, would protect the city; two or three citizens should be appointed to act with the President of the Board of Supervisors, to see that the money was judiciously expended.
C. CROCKER asked if the Board of Supervisors would pass such an ordinance ?
Mr. HARRIS answered that the Committee could not learn that.
B C. WHITING said he thought there would be no difficulty on that point; he had heard several of them sensibly concur in the sentiment that self-protection was the first law of nature.
Mr. HARRIS said this would really not be taking the money, and leaving the bondholders without a remedy, because they would be secured, and he understood that unless there was enough money to pay all of the interest none of it could be paid.
C. CROCKER said it could be paid as fast as the coupons were presented.
GEORGE ROWLAND said he did not suppose it would cost one-half the money to do all the work necessary within the limits of the street levees. The Railroad Company must keep our R street levee in repair, and it would only be necessary to repair the levee to Rabel's tannery.
Mr. HARRIS said he had been of the opinion that $20,000 cash, properly expended, would protect the city. He had submitted a verbal report in behalf of the Committee, and the Committee asked to be discharged.
CHARLES CROCKER said the Committee had only suggested plans which had been the street talk ever since the flood. They had ascertained nothing, did not even know whether the Board or Supervisors would pass such an ordinance, whether the Treasurer would deliver up the money to the citizens, or whether they would have to take it by force. They knew that any such ordinarce would be illegal, and unless the Treasurer and Auditor would act in harmony with the citizens nothing would be effected by that course. They had not ascertalned whether if the bond proposed were executed, Mr. Bird, the Treasurer, would accept it; and, in short, they were as much in the dark as they were yesterday.
Mr. HARRIS said they could not ascertain whether the bond would be accepted until it was made out, but Mr. Bird had told a member of the Committee that he would accept a sufficient bond.
D. O. MILLS said he hoped the meeting would accept the first proposition made by the Committee. He had been charged with being interested as an agent of the bondholders, but his house was not interested in the coupons to the extent of one dollar, and his course here was not at all influenced by such considerations. He did not believe there was any immediate danger of another flood, as the snows were all melted from the mountains, and they would have probably two or three months to work upon.
The impression was that the city was poor, but there were plenty of wealthy men in it. They had just gone through a prosperous season, and everybody had made money, and it was only the people who were not worth much that had been ruined. Men who had the largest interest here had not been seriously injured, and their loss would have to come out of their profits, so that they would be able to afford it. Let them first try to raise the money among the citizens; and if $40,000 was necessary, he would put down $5,000 of it--[applause]--a proportionate sum if less was required.
Then they would only have to ask for a special tax to pay the money raised in this way back to those who advanced it. The city could afford to pay it, for it was a fact that property here paid as much interest as in San Francisco, and capital did quite as well here--the only advantage in San Francisco being that they had had a great rise in the value of property there. If they went ahead right in this matter and saved their credit, thsy would soon have a similar rise of property here.
Judge CROSS said these suggestions were good as far as they went, but did not reach the point.
He moved to adopt the latter proposition of the Committee because it was not taking the interest money, but only borrowing it. If the Leglslature of last Winter had a right to borrow the Swamp Land Fund to pay themselves, the city certainly had a right to borrow this Interest Fund to protect the city and save the lives of the inhabitants.
GEORGE ROWLAND said they had better first make an effort at least to raise the money by subscription. They might lose their property and recover it again, but if their good name was once lost it would be difficult ever to regain it. If they failed to raise the. money by subscription, then it might be necessary as a matter of self preservation, to take the other course.
H. H. HARTLEY said he regretted that the Committee had not made a more detailed report. There seemed to be lacking in the first place an actual knowledge of the difficulties under which they were laboring, and secondly, a knowledge of the way in which these difficulties might be obviated, and the amount of money necessary for that purpose. He thought there should be a numerous Committee appointed in each ward, and these Committees subdivided, so as to get an accurate report of what was required to be done and the ways and means of providing the required funds. He was opposed to taking the interest money, at least till an earnest effort had been made to protect themselves by their own means.
They would then stand before the world in a better light than if they supinely took the first money they could find. Cities, more than individuals, lived upon credit, and if it was known that without an effort to help themselves they had taken the interest money on their debt, the city would never get credit again in the world. If after every effort to raise the money by other means had failed, they took this interest fund, they would be leas blameable.
CHARLES CROCKER said he thought the wealth of the city was pretty well represented there, and as a merchant of the city of Sacramento, her good name was dear to him. He therefore called on gentlemen present to state how much they would subscribe to raise the money according to the plan proposed by Mr. Mills.
D. O. MILLS responded. $5,000; H. H. Hartley, $500; L. B. Harris, $2,000; James Anthony & Co., $1,000; Goss & Lambard. $500; C. H Grimm, $500; B R. Crocker. $1,000; E. P. Figg, $500; Judge Cross, $500; L. H. Foote, $200; George Rowland, $200; Cohen Brothers, $200, and another party, whose name our reporter did not catch, $500, making a total of $12,600.
Mr. CROCKER said his idea was simply to feel the public pulse, so as to ascertain whether the difficulty could be overcome in this way, without resorting to, not exactly stealing, but taking the interest fund.
.C. H. GRIMM said if the public pulse was ascertained to-day, they would find two-thirds of the city in favor of taking this interest money. It was not proposed to steal it, but to give the Treasurer ample security for the bond holders. This sinking fund was cash on hand that could be used immediately, and if they raised money by subscription it would not be available perhaps for a month. It was only a question whether the bondholders should lay out of their interest for a few months, or the city go to ruin.
He thought the bondholders were better able to stand it than the citizens, and did not believe such action would at all impair the credit of the city. They did not repudiate by that action, they simply said they had a more sacred use for the money accumulated in their hands than paying the interest with it.
Judge CROSS called for his motion to adopt the last proposition of the Committee.
E P FIGG suggested that the President and County Assessor take from the assessment roll the names of fifty persons who paid the highest taxes, and allowing them to act as a Committee to devise ways and means for this emergency. If they had to take desperate means let that Committee decide upon it, and he had no doubt that all others would acquiesce.
Mr. GRIMM said the difficulty was that large Committees were notoriously inefficient, and such a Committee could not act before they would be stopped by an injunction.
CHARLES CROCKER said he saw no way to get hold of this interest fund; that was his objection, but by subscriptions they could raise the money at once, as every man's check would be good for the amount. This $80,000 was locked up by the forms of law, so that any man who should take it would render himself liable to the bondholders. If any gentleman could point out a way to get at the money legally, he said take it.
L. B. HARRIS asked why they could not go on with both propositions at the same time. Let them go on and take up subscriptions, and if they failed to raise money enough in that way, they could then resort to the other plan.
WILSON FLINT said what they chiefly wanted now was labor. Plenty of men were idle and living on charity, and let such men be informed that they could have food and shelter only by going to work on the levees . They wanted a provisional government--a sort of Jeff. Davis arrangement here for a few days.
Men were starving who yet had strong, willing hands. He did not think all the men of Sacramento were like those who yesterday refused to work for less than five dollars an hour.
J. H. WARWICK suggested that the Treasurer, Auditor and members of the Board of Supervisors . be invited to come before the meeting and state whether they would act harmoniously with the citizens in this matter. Then they would know exactly where they stood, [Applause.]
The PRESIDENT said so far as he was concerned he could not come before a public meeting like this and agree to do an illegal act. The members of the Board of Supervisors had sworn to support the laws, and they could not say go and take the money unless there was some legal way in which it could be done.
Mr. CROCKER said that was it--that was the very difficulty he had forgotten.
Dr. NICHOLS said he had no ready money, but he would be ready to sacrifice a portion of his property to raise what money he could on it to do this work by subscription, but he was utterly opposed to this project of robbery, by taking money from the treasury which they had no right to. It belonged not to their own citizens, but to people all over the world, and they had no more right to take it than to take money deposited in bank by D. O. Mills or B. F. Hastings. He would prefer to submit to a special tax, if it took half he was worth, rather than add to the names already given to the people of Sacramento that of robbery outright. He would give five hundred dollars to raise the money by subscription, if he could raise it, or, at all events, as much as he could raise.
Dr. J. F. MORSE said as a citizen of Sacramento, he repelled the remarks just made entirely and totally misapplied. [Applause.] He would say, with vehemence, that the plan proposed was not robbery. If it were robbery, then, although he had intended to live honestly, he was guilty of robbery when adversity some years ago drove him to bankruptcy. Sacramento city was in the same condition of adversity now.
She did not propose to commit robbery, but she was utterly prostrate by a succession of calamities, under which she had been struggling twelve or thirteen years with wonderful energy, but the charge of robbery was totally unapplicable. It is true that they were placed in an embarrassing situation. He had all his life abhorred the idea of repudiation, especially when applied to corporations, and he still abhorred it, but he could see no other resource than borrowing from the treasury that money which was to have been appropriated for interest.
CHARLES CROCKER said the difficulty was how to get the fund. There was no way but to wait for an Act of the Legislature, which could not be passed under a month or two. Mr. Bird had said he would not pay the money over without legal authority.
Dr. NICHOLS said they had already paid this interest money. It was deposited in the Treasury, but it belonged to the bondholders, and there was the robbery.
A GERMAN said he hoped the meeting would hear a few words from a Dutchman, and went on to give his views. He had lived in Sacramento since 1851, and paid heavy taxes, but there was nothing to show for it. The city debt had accumulated beyond all endurance, and he thought they had paid enough interest. The only way was to repudiate their debts and begin again.
Then let them build proper levees, run a sluice or a canal all the way to Sutterville, and give the river its course to the tules. [His remarks were not distinctly understood by our reporter]
Judge CROSS said he knew there were names on that subscription list of men who had not a dollar to provide for their families, and the plan of raising money by subscriptions would never succeed. He therefore appealed to the meeting to take action at once, for as Mr. Flint had said, there was no time to lose.
Let the Board of Supervisors pass the ordinance appropriating the money, and then appeal to the Legislature to legalize their act.
C. H. GRIMM urged that in taking this fund the city was only getting an extension of time from its creditors as a business man might do. The credit of the city! Why, the city had no credit today. This money was not yet due to the bondholders, and to take it for the purpose of protecting the city was no act of robbery, but simply getting an extension of time. How to get hold of the money seemed to be the question, but they knew where it was and Mr. Crocker knew as well as he how it could be got hold of.
D. W. WELTY suggested that if the Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance, and the Auditor issued the warrant, the Treasurer could not go behind the warrant and refuse the money, and the Legislature could legalize the ordinance as it had legalized many illegal ordinances of San Francisco.
CHARLES CROCKER asked the President if he would sign such an ordinance.
C H. GRIMM and several others interrupted, stating that this was no place to ask such a question.
Mr. CROCKER said then he would move that the meeting adjourn, and instruct the Board of Supervisors to meet immediately and pass such an ordinance.
WILSON FLINT said he wished to make a practical suggestion. He had two hired men with nothing to do, and he would go to work with them on the levee for a month. How many houses on J street would send a man each?
The PRESIDENT said the question was on the motion to adjourn and instruct or request the Supervisors to pass the ordinance.
J. H. WARWICK suggested that the motion should include the preparation of a bond to indemnify each officer.
Mr. CROCKER accepted the modification.
FRANK HEREFORD said if the ordinance was passed the money would be given up, and it should be done immediately. The Supreme Court had decided time and again that even a law of the Legislature attempting to divert moneys from the channel for which they had been appropriated, was unconstitutional.
CHARLES CROCKER--Dash the Constitution now.
FRANK HEREFORD said the Treasurer was willing, nevertheless, to be governed by what his bondsmen said, and if they were satisfied he would give up the money.
C. H. GRIMM said, as one of Mr. Bird's bondsmen, he was willing to instruct him to give up the money.
Mr. HEREFORD moved that a Committee of five be appointed to prepare an indemnification bond, drawn up so as to bind its signers, indemnifying Mr. Bird's sureties. Then let them request Mr. Bird to give up the money.
Mr. CROCKER withdrew his motion in favor of that of Mr. Hereford.
The PRESIDENT said the Board of Supervisors could not legally hold a meeting without five days notice.
Mr. CROCKER said they did not want legality.
Mr. HEREFORD said be was aware that the ordinance, if passed by the Board of Supervisors, would not be worth the paper it was written upon; but if they took the course we had suggested, it would open the doors of these vaults. All Mr. Bird asked was indemnity for himself and his bondsmen.
Mr. CROCKER suggested that the easiest way would be to let the Treasurer's bondsmen withdraw their sureties.
Mr. GRIMM said they could not do it.
The question was taken on Mr. Hereford's motion, and it was carried.
The PRESIDENT appointed as the Committee: Frank Hereford, Judge Hartley, L. B. Harris, D. W. Welty and E. P. Figg.
Mr. WELTY said his idea was to create a special fund, and transfer the money to that fund, and then provide for expending the money in a judicious way.
CHARLES CROCKER was added to the Committee to procure the names of persons willng [xic] to sign the bond, and nine gentlemen gave their names at once. The meeting then adjourned for an hour and a half, to give the Committee time to report.
The PRESIDENT called the meeting to order at twenty minutes after two o'clock, the attendance at that time being comparatively small.
H. H. HARTLEY read the following,
Your Committee to whom was referred the subject of the mode of immediately providing a fund for the purpose of protecting our city from further ruin and devastation, have given the subject as much consideration as it is possible under the terrible emergency in which we are now situated; and as the present moment is one which calls for action, we present the result of our deliberations, omitting the reasons which have led to the various conclusions:
First--We find it impossible to provide funds by direct subscription or loan, in consequence of the amount necessary and the short space of time in which it is required to be forthcoming.
Secondly--We recommend that the citizens as a mass should request the Board of Supervisors to hold a special meeting forthwith, and then and there to pass an ordinance instanter, temporarily transferring to a special fund to be created for that purpose, the Sinking and Interest Funds in the Treasury of the City and County of Sacramento; said fund when so created to be solely used for the purpose of protecting our city from further impending destruction.
Thirdly--That a Committee of five citizens be appointed to co-operate with the Board of Supervisors, to see that the said funds are faithfully and judiciously applied to their legitimate object.
Fourthly--That a sufficient number of our citizens do forthwith tender and give to our County Treasurer a good and sufficient bond, in an ample amount, to indemnify him and his sureties from any liability on his offlcial bond, caused or to be caused by his obeying the ordinance of the Board of Supervisors as aforesaid.
Fifthly--That a like bond be prepared and given to the County Auditor (if desired by him), to fully indemnify him for performing any act he may be required to do in the premises.
Sixthly--That this meeting hereby unconditionally pledges itself to "stand by" the Board of Supervisors, County Treasurer and County Auditor, and all other public officers, in carrying into effect the above recommendations, and pledge ourselves to do all in our power to hold them harmless.
Seventhly--a Committee of ten be appointed in each ward as a Committee of Safety; as, also, a General Committee of ten for the city at large.
Eighthly--our Senators and Representatives be and they are hereby instructed to prepare and present to the Legislature immediately on its assembling, Acts relieving the County Treasurer, County Auditor, Board of Supervisors, and all other of the public officers who might be liable on their official bonds or otherwise, for carrying these recommendations into effect; and also, an Act to provide for the collection of a special tax to supply the deficiency in the county treasury which may be caused by the temporary diversion of the said Sinking and Interest Fund.
HENRY H. HARTLEY,
E P. FIGG,
LEW B. HARRIS.
The Committee also submitted a form of a bond to indemnify the Treasurer and his sureties, and a draft of an ordinance to be submitted to the Board of Supervisors, directing the Auditor to draw his warrant in favor of -------- for the sum of -------- dollars, to be paid by the Treasurer out of the Sinking and Interest Fund of the city of Sacramento.
The PRESIDENT suggested that it would be necessary first for the Board to pass an ordinance creating a protection.
Mr. HARTLEY said he supposed that would be necessary, but the Committee had only drawn the ordinance as a suggestion to the Board.
Dr. J. F. MORSE moved that the report be received and adopted.
Mr. CROCKER called on property holders present to come forward and sign the bond.
Mr. HARTLEY moved to amend the report so as to intrust the expenditure of the money to the President of the Board of Supervisors and five citizens. Carried.
Mr. CROCKER said during the recess he had been out on his own responsibility to see what could be done in ths way of raising money by subscription. He had been unable to find many merchants, as some were at lunch, and others had gone to San Francisco, but he had obtained subscriptions amounting to $17,500, to be paid over provided it should be disbursed by a Committee of citizens, and provided measures can be taken making the loan receivable for taxes next Fall. He thought they could raise $80,000 on the same basis, which they could realize immediately.
He had done this, so that if they should fail, by lawyers' tricks or otherwise, to get hold of the Interest Fund, they would have something to fall back upon.
A Committee of three was ordered to be appointed to procure signatures to the bond.
Some one suggested that as the money could not be raised immediately, measures should be taken to put men at work on the levee at once; but no motion was made on the subject.
Judge CROSS moved that the Committee of Citizens to take charge of the fund, consist of L. B. Harris, C. H. Swift, Newton Booth, E. P. Figg and J. F. Morse.
Dr. MORSE declined, and suggested that the name of Mark Hopkins be substituted--which was done. The Committee was then appointed.
Mr. HEREFORD said there was another blank in the ordinance to fill, and that was the sum to be appropriated. He understood the amount in the fund was over $83,000. Judge CROSS moved that the amount be fixed at $50,000. He was informed by Mr. Crocker that the work could be done for $20,000, but they had better have enough.
Dr. MORSE said he did not think that sum would meet the necessities of the case. A sub Committee had been sent out to ascertain the extent of the damage, and had reported after as careful a survey as time allowed, of the crevasse above Smith's Gardens, and another bad place between there and R street, that it would require at least $25,000 each to repair those places. That would take $50,000, and much more would remain to be done. The city should be put in a condition fit for the Legislature, and not meet that body with muddy and broken streets, and everything else disheartening to legislation in their favor.
C. CROCKER said if the object was to fence in the whole of the State of California, they might as well give up. He was in favor of putting the levee on Thirty-first street, and the others right around the city, in good condition, and that was all they needed. Make those levees broad and strong and high and the city was safe, as it never would be by building miles on miles of half made levees. Let the Railroad Company never fill up the gap again in the slough, for it was that which had brought the flood upon the city.
L. B. HARRIS said he thought there were two ways of protecting the city. One was to commence where the north cross levee meets the American river levee, and make it secure, together with the R street levee, leaving the ground open above, so that the water could pass out that way; or if they were not going to do that, then build a levee plumb down to the mouth of the slough, doing away with cross levees altogether. Either way would protect the city, but he was inclined to favor the first.
Mr. CROCKER said he had no objection to drawing the whole fund, if they could get it. [Laughter.]
C. L. SWIFT said he was one of the party which made the examination, and they concluded that it would be impracticable to stop the mouth of the slough at Smith's. The only practicable way was to strengthen the Thirty-first and R street levees.
Mr. CROCKER said he was not a levee builder, but he would bind himself to do the work for $20,000.
On motion of Mr. HEREFORD, the blank was filled with $80,000 and the report was then adopted.
Mr. CROCKER moved to adjourn till eleven o'clock tomorrow to give the Board of Supervisors time to act. Lost.
H. M. STOW moved that a Committee of Safety be appointed to consist of ten persons from each ward and ten from the city at large.
The motion prevailed, and on motion of J. C. GOODS, the President was requested to appoint the Committee and furnish the names to the UNION for publication.
Judge CROSS said there were two parties in this matter, and the interests of the city ought to be considered. He understood that most of the bonds were held by persons wno did not reside in the county, but had agents in Sacramento and San Franclsco who could act for them. It was proper to consult with them as to what they would do for the relief of the city, and it was their duty to do what could be done to sustain the value of their securities. He therefore moved that a Committee be appointed to confer with the bondholders and their agents, and entertain any propositions they might have to make for relief in the present extremity.
J. C. GOODS said he thought this was a singular motion at this time. The meeting had already decided to take this money and devote it to another purpose, and it seemed strange after that to propose to confer with them. He moved that the proposition be laid on the table.
Judge CROSS said he could not take that view of the matter. He wanted to ascertain whether they would be willing to aid in protecting their securities. It could not be disguised that repudiation stared this city in the face unless they got same relief. They had been ground down for twelve years with debts illegally contracted, and these bondholders were holding the evidence of those debts, which they had obtained at from twenty to sixty cents on the dollar. They could afford very well to come forward and give the city liberal terms.
He made the motion in good faith, and believed every bondholder would approve of it.
The motion to lay on ths table was withdrawn, and Judge Cross' motion was lost.
L H. FOOTE said Mr. Crocker, a responsible citizen, had offered to do the work for $20,000, and also stated that he had obtained subscriptions to the amount of $17 500. He thought it was a shame to repudiate for $2,500, and he moved that the Board of Supervisors be authorized to contract with Mr. Crocker to repair the levees for $20,000. and that a Committee be appointed to raise the other $2,500.
L. B. HARRIS--Crocker would not take the job, "you bet."
The motion was lost.
Dr. J. F. MORSE said be hoped the Board of Supervisors would meet to-night, because he understood that before twelve o'clock to-morrow the funds would be placed out of reach by injunction. It would be nonsense to undertake to do anything unless the Board would act heartily with them.
The PRESIDENT said there were five members of the Board of Supervisors in the city, and he thought it would be possible to get a quorum to-night.
E. P. Figg, C. H. Swift, Paul Morrill, Frank Hereford and W. F. Knox, were appointed the Committee to procure signers to the bond.
J. W. COFFROTH said he was informed that before ten o'clock to-morrow a mandate would probably be issued by Judge McKune or Judge Robinson, to prevent the taking of this money.
The meeting then adjourned till eight o'clock in the evening.
The PRESIDENT announced that he would call a meeting of the Board of Supervisors for five o'clock, P.M.
The meeting was called to order at a few minutes after eight o'clock by President SHATTUCK, who stated that his business was such that he could not remain during the evening, and it would be neceaiary to elect a Chairman in his place.
Judge Swift was nominated and elected as Chairman.
The Committee of Safety, appointed by the Chair, was read as follows :
First Ward--R. T. Brown, E. M. Skaggs, -- Despecher, -- Lambard, Henry Trusler, -- Sanders, -- Wilson, James Doran, J. Pierson, S. Hunt.
Second Ward--C. H. Grimm, E. P. Figg, C. H. Swift, Mark Hopkins, J. F. Morse, A. K. P. Harmon, Louis Sloss, A. Boyd, D. W. Welty.
Third Ward--H. H. Hartley, F. Hereford, L. A. Booth, G. W. Mowe, M. McManus, E. B. Ryan, Charles Crocker, D. W. Earl, F. F. Taylor.
Fourth Ward--L. B. Harris, A. G. Richardson, R. C. Clark, A. Aitkin, R. J. McDonald, Leland Stanford, Peter Keefer, Dr. Montgomery, Benj. Crocker, R. C. Montgomery.
City at large--Henry M. Stow, B. F. Hastings, Newton Booth, C. J. Huntington [C.P.?], W. M. Harron, T. M. Lindley, -- Cushing, John Gllllg, James Anthony, Dr. Harvey Houghton.
The ordinances passed by the Board of Supervisors creating a Protection Fund, and appropriating $75,000 therefor, were read. [See report of proceedings of the Board of Supervisors.]
Mr. BOYD said these ordinances met his full concurrence, and he saw no necessity for the large Committee of Safety. He therefore moved to reconsider the vote by which the Committee was appointed.
Dr. J. F. MORSE said he saw no harm in having this Committee of Safety, but he had no objection to the reconsideration.
After some discussion, the motion to reconsider was lost.
The CHAIRMAN called for a report from the Committee appointed to procure signers of the bond.
E. P. FIGG said Mr. Bird, the Treasurer, was to consult with his legal adviser and report at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, and by the terms of the ordinance a different bond would have to be prepared, so that the Committee had not deemed it necessary to procure further signatures for this bond.
Mr. BOYD moved that the meeting adjourn till ten o'clock in the morning.
Dr. J. F. MORSE said, in view of the fact that it was necessary to act to-night if at all, he was satisfied that there was no intention on the part of the officers to surrender this money to the citizens. He was sorry to see such a disposition evinced to defeat a measure essential to the safety and preservation of the city, and was satisfied that there would be no occasion for any future meeting. He had been charged by many persons on the streets with participating in a meeting which was doing illegal acts, and encouraging the idea of repudiation of the debt of Sacramento City. He denounced that charge as utterly, entirely and offensively untrue.
[applause] If their acts designed to save the city were wrong, he would rather participate in that wrong than stand in the place of those who would crowd this unfortunate city to the wall and extract the last drop of blood. He believed the course proposed was the only one to save the city from repudiation.
C. H. GRIMM said the Treasurer had told him that he wanted to do with that money what the people who placed the money there wanted him to do with it. He was willing to pay over the money, provided his bondsmen could be secured, but he was in a tight place, and did not know what to do, and had gone to consult with counsel about it. He would much rather a body of men should come over and choke him and take the money away from him than to take it in the way proposed. He had no idea that the Treasurer would throw any unnecessary difficulty in the way, and hoped the meeting would not adjourn till he returned.
Mr. FIGG said he was informed that the Auditor would not draw his warrant.
Mr. GRIMM said he understood the Auditor, too, had gone to consult his lawyer. He was more satisfied than ever that the course pursued by the meeting met the public approval, for every man he had met had commended his course. It was the only way to save the city from repudiation.
Judge GROSS repelled the idea of repudiation. He, too, had met citizens outside of this meeting, and they indorsed his course unanimously. They were borrowing this money in an extreme case, und [sic] pledging their words for its repayment. Yet he apprehended that they would not get the money. He was not afraid to take the responsibility of moving the adoption of the report, but they would not get the money.
A German said he thought it was very well to let the bondholders have the money. He was for building levees on every street, all over town, and let the bondholders do the best they could.
Mr. BOYD said he had no doubt if they sent a Committee of about a hundred of the highest taxpayers to the Treasurer's office, he would consent to let the money go.
Dr. MORSE said there was good ground for believing that an injunction would be served on the Treasurer before ten o'clock to morrow morning.
Mr. SWIFT, the Chairman, said the ordinance required the previous filing of the bond before the warrant was issued. For that reason the Committee had not thought it worth while to get the bond already prepared signed.
Mr. GRIMM said the Treasurer's difficulty was that no bonds would indemnify him for doing an illegal act.
L B. MARSHALL said he did not believe a bond could be drawn for such a purpose that would bind any man who signed it.
After waiting some time, during which gentlemen talked against time,
Mr. GRIMM said he was satisfied Mr. Bird was not coming back to-night, and be would wait for suggestions.
Dr. J. F. MORSE said he was satisfied, on reflection, that nobody would issue an injunction on this fund, and the citizens would get hold of it yet.
After several other suggestions, the meeting adjourned till nine o'clock in the morning.
THE FLOOD AT SANTA ROSA.--A correspondent writing to the Alta from Santa Rosa, under date of December 9th, says:
Santa Rosa creek overflowed its banks last night, and the water was eighteen inches deep in some of our streets. The floors of the Eureka Hotel and Santa Roaa House were covered. Part of the bridge across the creek has gone, and the bridge across the slough above town is gone entirely. The water is full of fence rails and other drift wood. So far as we know, no lives have been lost and no serious pecuniary damage has been done to any of our citizens. . . .
The undersigned offer their gratuitous services to all sufferers from the inundation needing medical assistance.
V. J. FOURGEAUD, M. D.
F. W. HATCH, M. D.
J. F. MORSE, M. D.
THOS. M. LOGAN, M. D.
J. M. FREY, M. D.
A. B. NIXON, M. D.
G. L. SIMMONS, M. D.
J. D. B STILLMAN, M. D.
GUSTAVUS TAYLOR, M. D.
dl8-lt H. W. HARKNESS, M. D.
. . . .
THE RIVER AND THE LEVEE.--At sunset last evening the gauge at the foot of N street indicated a hight in the river of twenty-one feet eight inches above low water mark, showing a rise within the past twenty-four hours of ten inches. This hight is but one inch less than the highest point attained last year, (twenty-one feet nine inches,) and ten less than that of 1852, (twenty-two feet six inches) It is the opinion of some or [of?] the upper Sacramento steamboat men that we shall have by or before to-night eight or ten inches more of water from the North, while others, with the same facilities for judging, think the river cannot be higher until we have additional rains. In either case we run some risk of another overflow of the city, at least in part, within a day or two, from the back water caused by the crevasse above Sutterville and the possibility of other openings in the levee near the city.
The crevasse referred to was about fifteen feet wide on Tuesday, about thirty feet on Wednessday, and fully sixty feet last evening. It is increasing in depth as well as width, and is discharging a large volume of water. The present fall is abont two feet, and the natural effect will be to back the water on to the city to that extent, with the increased rise of the river added. Wilson Flint made an effort yesterday to take down a cargo of bricks in gunny sacks, bales of hay, etc., on a barge, and stop the breach in the morning.
He appealed to a number of merchants to send horses and drays to haul the brick from the Forrest Theater to the barge, but they were unfortunately all busy. He appealed also to a number of workmen to aid in filling the sacks, but they demanded $5 per hour. There was nobody to become responsible for that amount. Nothing was therefore done towards stopping the crevasse.
Wilson Flint states that he sounded the channel of the opening last evening, and that it is twenty feet deep at the center. Some forty or fifty feet from the levee, the river was but five or six feet deep, on which embankment he designed to build a circular levee to stop the current. It is constantly at that point wearing a
deeper channel, and cannot probably now be stopped until the river falls. The levee below R street is also in an unreliable position. It is wearing away gradually and may give way at any time. If it shall break open, the level of the water in the city will inevitably be governed by the level of the water in the Sacramento for the balance of the season. A decided effort should be made to-day to strengthen it.
THE FLOODED PORTION.--The water had so far receded from the western part of the city yesterday afternoon, that the inundated portion was limited to the section lying between Third and Seventh and south of M streets. On all the adjoining streets the late occupants of houses were busily engaged in cleaning out and fixing up those of their houses which can be made inhabitable again. The scene presented is one of confusion and desolation. Some of the houses are turned over, some lean sideways, some are turned partially around, some are broken and shattered, and all are covered inside and outside up to the high water mark with mud--mud of the worst kind, of a soft, slippery, greasy character, which it requires a great deal of labor to get rid of.
The streets are strewn with fences, doors, shutters, lumber, cord wood, broken furniture, dead horses, and lifeless cows and hogs. Fruit trees and shrubbery are greatly injured, if not utterly destroyed. Boats of various sizes are still actively engaged in the water, picking up whatever is worth taking possession of. Many families are evidently preparing to go into their houses in a few days.
"SABE, JOHN."--A man who had just narrowly escaped plunging down a submerged basement on Monday, turned around to warn a Chinaman who was wading immediately behind him. "Take care, John," he said; and John responded, "Me sabe, me sabe;" but keeping on, he had scarcely uttered the words when down be went plump over head and ears. The man grabbed the end of the pig tail, which was all of John that could be seen, pulled him out and placed him in an upright position, saying, "Ah, you sabe, John?" "Me no sabe much big dam," said the irate Chinaman, sputtering the water out of his mouth and nose, and then resumed his march, a wetter if not a wiser John. . . .
NOT INJURED.--On Thursday afternoon, when several children were playing on the balcony of the store at the southwest corner of J and Eighth streets, one of them, a boy about five years old, fell to the ground, a distance of at least fifteen feet. He would probably have been killed except for the great abundance of mud, into which he landed. He jumped up at once, uninjured, and very earnestly inquired, in a loud voice, "Where's my ma. Where my ma." His mamma, who was on the balcony above him, lost no time in satisfying his curiosity as to her whereabouts.
FERRY AT THE FORT.--A regular ferry boat was started yesterday from J street, near the Fort, to cross the new made channel, which had cut off travel from the county. Horses and wagons are ferried across. The proprietor has probably started his ferry without applying to the Board of Supervisors for a license. Ranchmen from Brighton arrive by that route, while those from further south were able yesterday to drive through the water from Poverty Ridge.
DAMAGED GRAIN.--The most of our grain stores and warehouses presented yesterday an animated appearance, resulting from the work of overhauling damaged wheat, barley, flour, bran, etc. Large quantities of these articles had been wet and were rendered comparatively valueless. Wheat was sold at six bits per sack, barley at two bits, etc. The most of it was sold for hog feed, but a portion was purchased by ranchmen for seed.
DEAD ANIMALS.--Complaint is made in all parts of the city of the presence of the carcases of drowned animals. A considerable number have been hauled out to Seventeenth street and left there, after taking off their hides, exposed to the sun. This should not be allowed in the neighborhood of dwelling houses. They should all be removed so far as not to be offensive to any one.
MORE OF THEM.--We are informed that R. W. Dunlevy, at Fourth and M streets abandoned his own property on Monday to the ravages of the flood, and devoted his time and efforts to saving those who were in danger. His own loss, it is said, amounted to several thousand dollars. We also hear the names of M. Cook and Constable Cartter spoken of as rendering generous and important service on that occasion.
INQUEST.--Justice Stephenson of Mormon Island held an inquest yesterday on the body of a Chinaman which was found lodged among the rocks on the south bank of the American river. The only witness examined was Samuel Davis, by whom the body was found. The jury found a verdict to the effect that the deceased came to his death by drowning. . . .
A RUNNING STREAM.--During the whole of yesterday a running stream of water passed along the north aide of J street, from Fourth to Fifth. It evidently comes from the Slough, and is presumed to originate from the sewer which was cut along Fourth street last year for the benefit of the St. George Hotel. It may do serious injury if not stopped. . . .
NOT HE.--We have received a note from H. McCluskey, boatman, who states that he rendered essential service on the day of the flood with his boat. He charged but a dollar a head where he charged at all, and thinks that indiscriminate censure of boatmen is unjust. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Relief for Sacramento Sufferers--Schooner Burned--Body Recovered.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12th. Citizens of Sacramento in this city met today, at the store of A. M. Winn & Co. On motion of Mr. Winn, Colonel Zabriskie took the chair, and on motion of P. B. Cornwall, A. M. Winn was appointed Secretary. On motion of Mr. Winn, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
WHEREAS, the people of Sacramento are suffering for food and clothing, and immediate relief is necessary; therefore
Resolved, That we request the citizens of San Francisco to ship such articles as they can spare, by the boats to the Howard Benevolent Society of Sacramento.
Resolved, That we recommend the appointment of Relief Committees by the Masons, Odd Fellows and Firemen of San Francisco, and the appointment of Receiving and Disbursing Committees by similar associations in Sacramento.
Resolved, That we appoint a Committee of thirteen to make collections and to meet with the citizens of San Francisco, at Platt's Hall, this evening at seven o'clock, and lay before them the condition of our citizens and ask for relief.
The following were chosen a Committee: J. C. Zabriskie, Chairman; S. C. Hastings, L. Krambach, G. Ambrose, E. F. Gillespie, Lloyd Tevis, S. Waterman, P. B. Cornwall, C. A. Johnson, Charles G. Jackson, G. K. Fitch, N. L Drew, and A. M. Winn, Secretary. At one o'clock to-day there had been collected five thousand dollars for the relief of the sufferers. The California Steam Navigation Company tender free carriage on their boats to all goods designed to relieve the people of Sacramento. Mr. Platt tenders the free use of his hall for the meeting to-night. . . .
The new grade of Filbert street, between Jones and Taylor streets, has been washed away by the rains. . . .
A meeting was held to-night at Platt's Hall, for the purpose of devising means for the relief of Sacramentans. Charles H. S. Williams presided. Speeches were made by Judge McAllister, General Winn and Colonel Zabriskie. It was stated that two thousand dollars worth of goods were sent up by the boat to-night, and five thousand subscribed by Front street merchants.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held last evening, to take into consideration the recommendations made at the citizens, meeting held during the day. There were present President Shattuck, and Supervisors Woods, Russel, Hansbrow and Granger.
The following ordinance was introduced, the rules suspended and the ordinance passed by a unanimous vote of the members present:
ORDINANCE NO.--. Creating a Special Levee Fund.
The Board of Supervisors of the City and County of Sacramento, hereby order and ordain as follows:
Section 1. There is hereby created a special fund to be known as the Fund for the Preservatlon of the City of Sacramento from Future Inundations by Water, and the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars is hereby transferred from the City Sinking and Interest Fund, of any money now on hand in said last named fund, to said special fund,
Sec. 2. This ordinance to take effect from and after its passage.
The following ordinance was introduced and, the rules being suspended, passed by the unanimous vote of those present:
ORDINANCE NO 118--To provide for saving the City from total destruction by Inundatian.
The Board of Supervisors of the city and county of Sacramento hereby order and ordain as follows:
Section 1. Upon the fixing [?] with the Auditor, of the indemnity bond, which at a public meeting of the citizens this day held in the County Court House, was ordered made, and which said bond shall be for at least seventy-five thousand dollars, the President of the Board of Supervlsors and the Auditor of the city and county shall draw their warrant or warrants on the City Special Levee Fund, in favor of Paul Morrill, Mark Hopkins, E. P. Figg, C. H. Swift and L. B. Harris, who are the Committee appointed by the meeting aforesaid, for the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars; and the Treasurer is hereby required upon the presentation of said warrant or warrants, to pay the same.
Sec 2. The city and county of Sacramento hereby pledges itself, and requires that the aforesaid Committee, before receiving the money aforesaid, shall also guarantee to the President of the Board and the Auditor and Treasurer, that they the said city and county, and they the members of said Committee, will hold them and each of them, the said President, Auditor and Treasurer, and each and every of their several bondsmen harmless and free from any damage of any kind or nature whatever, that may arise or accrue from any act done or to be done by said President, Auditor and Treasurer, or either of them, in carrying this ordinance into effect.
Sec. 3. The Commitee named in the first section of this ordinance shall, before receiving the warrants herein provided to be drawn, file a bond satisfactory to the President of the Board, that they will expend the money only as herein provided.
Sec. 4. Said Committee shall have the sole and absolute disbursement of said money, and no portion thereof shall be paid except upon accounts properly audited by said Committee; and, provided, that said Committee shall report under oath, weekly, the amount expended, and the objects for whlch the same has been expended, and shall accompany such reports with proper vouchers.
Sec. 5 This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
The following resolution by Supervisor HANSBROW was adopted unanimously:
Resolved, That this Board recommend to the Committee of citizens having charge of the monies which have been drawn out of the Sinking and Interest Fund to appropriate the amount of five thousand dollars to be used and disbursed by them to relieve in part the suffering of the many poor and houseless families who are now destitute in our midst in consequence of the flood.
The following resolution by Supervisor HANSBROW was adopted:
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed by this Board to confer with the officers of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company as to the practicability of constructing and moving their track, so as to enter the city on the Northern portion of the same.
EDITORS UNION: An article appears editorially in yesterday's UNION, which we conceive does us great injustice. It stated, upon information, that we hold, as agents, most of the coupons due next January, and couples this charge with a very ungenerous intimation that we are seeking to obtain the payment thereof by clandestine means. The entire statement is radically false; we neither hold nor in any way, directly or indirectly, control, nor have we any interest in the coupons, with a solitary exception of about $2,000 left with us for collection when due, and entirely subject to our discretion. While our opinions respecting repudiation are decided, they are altogether unbiased by any personal interest; and we leave it to our fellow-citizens to take such action on this subject as they may deem judicious.
D. O. Mills & Co.
Sacramento, December 13, 1861.
FROM NEVADA TERRITORY.--From Nevada papers to the 7th December, we glean the following intelligence:
FRESHET IN THE CARSON--MILLS CARRIED AWAY.--The recent rise in Carson river carried away all the dams above Sproul's. This was built in the most substantial manner, and withstood the flood. It is thought nearly all the dams below are indebted for their safety to the stability of this one.--Territorial Enterprise. . . .
THE HIGH GRADE.--We noticed yesterday that a large quantity of damaged hams and other merchandise were being emptied into the street in front of one of our principal J street houses. The quantity was such as to raise the street nearly to the level of the high grade.
RELIEF FROM SAN FRANCISCO.--C. Crocker expects from San Francisco a large quantity of dry goods, clothes, etc., for gratuitous distribution among those who are in need. He was notified by telegraph to that effect by Frank Baker, last evening.
LECTURE--POSTPONEMENT.--The lecture of Rev. Mr. Hill, on "Henry Clay," which was to have been delivered this evening, is necessarily postponed. Due notice of the time of its delivery will be given.
REPAIRING.--A large number of workmen are engaged in repairing the railroad between Poverty Ridge and Brighton. . . .
FLOOD ON THE COSUMNES.--A correspondent of the Bee, writing from Cosumnes Bridge, December 10th, says:
We had a great overflow of the river at this place yesterday morning. The heavy rain of Sunday night, and the previously warm day melting the snow on the mountains, brought down a freshet which raised the water fourteen feet in twelve hours!--overflowing all the low lands for miles around, and completely arresting all traffic. The rise of the river was at the rate of one foot per honr till two P.M.; remaining stationary till seven o'clock, when it began to recede. At the time I write this (five P.M., Tuesday), the roads are again open--the water having gone down about ten feet. We hear of great damage, loss of stock, etc, on all the low grounds in the vicinity, and the bridge at Michigan Bar was so strained that it was found necessary to cut away about eighteen feet to save the remainder
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3343, 14 December 1861 p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .The sum of $38,507 was raised from citizens of Sacramento yesterday, for the protection of the city, $12,800 were paid in. It is hoped that those who have taken in hand the matter of strengthening our levees will act at once, and lose no more precious time by delaying operations. The Subscription Committee will resume their labors to-day.
The Sacramento and American rivers are about at a stand still, although it is said the former rose slightly yesterday, instead of falling, as was generally believed.
In our columns will be noticed an account of the efforts which have been made in San Francisco to render assistance to citizens of Sacramento who have suffered by the late flood. The amount contributed in money and the necessaries of life, has been quite generous and evinces a most benevolent spirit on the part of our brethren of the Bay City.
The Howard Benevolent Society, which has been made the trustee of a large amount of donations for the relief of the destitute of the city, had a meeting last evening, and took action as to the proper mode of distribution. They will guard against imposture, as will be seen by an advertisement elsewhere. . . .
. . .The late storm did considerable damage in Carson Valley, as we learn by telegraph.
THE PROTECTION FUND.--The following is a list of the subscriptions obtained yesterday by the Committee appointed at the Citizens' Meeting:
The total amount paid in is $12,800. The Committee will resume its labors to-day.
D. O. Mills & Co.. (pd) $5000 C. H. Grimm 500
B. F. Hastings & Co.... 5000 E. P. Figg 500
Gas Company 5000 Samuel Cross 500
Lew. B. Harris....... 2000 Dr. H. L. Nichols 500
H. W. Bragg & Co.... 1000 L. H. Foote 200
James Anthony & Co.. 1000 Cyrus Coffin 100
B. R. Crocker........ 1000 L. & S. Wormser 500
Leland Stanford (pd).. 1000 H. Kuham [?] 100
C. H. Swift (pd) 1000 Henry C. Kirk 50
Lord, Holbrook & Co. 1000 Greenbaum Bros (pd). 200
H. H. Hartley 500 --- Steudeman (pd).... 150
Charles Crocker....... 500 Locke & Levenson.... 100
Goss & Lambard 500 John Bigler.. 100
T. M. Lindley (pd).... 500 Booth & Co. (pd)..... 1000
Dr. J. F. Morse. 300 Hull & Lohman (pd) ... 500
C. H. Cummlngs (pd). 200 Berry Morgan (pd)... 75
H. O. Beatty (pd) 100 J. Hanks 50
Boyd & Davis.... -- George Rowland (pd). 200
D. W. Welty (pd) ..... . 50 McWilllams & Co . . . . . 200
C. C. Jenks (pd) 100 Thos. Findley ... 100
H. H. Spauldlng (pd) . . 50 Ebner Bros. 100
A. O. Hinkson (pd)... 50 Barton Bros. 200
A, Greenbaum (pd)... 50 H. E. Robinson (pd)... 250
G. K. Van Heusen 50 A. Lamott (pd) 200
Beck & Ackley 50 Huntington & Hopkins. 1000
P. H. Russell (pd)..... 200 W. F. Knox (pd) 100
Hardy Bros. & Hall pd 500 J. B. Harmon (pd) .... 100
N. F. Turton ....... 50 J. E. Bateman .. ... ..
Jerome Dayton ... .. L. Elkus (pd) 25
Jared Irwin.... 50 W. L. Uhler(pd)...... 25
E. Black Ryan (pd). . . 100 L M Hubbard (pd).. . 50
J. H. Gass 50 W. G. English . 50
George R. Moore 50 J. W. Winans . . . ..... 500
Frank Hereford 25 Timothy Wilcox...... 200
H. Starr 10 G. W. Rlcker 10
C. Cole (pd) 100 J. Wetzlar (pd) 100
E. B. Crocker 50 Bigelow & Brooks (pd) 25
W. P. Coleman....... 1000 ---- Jansen ...... 50
T. A. Talbert (pd) .... 25 A. T. Nelson (pd) 25
C. B. Kenyon 100 Jesse Morrill ......... 25
Harmon & Co 500 James Faris & Co (pd) 100
O'Connell & Ryan 200 L. & S. Wormser 100
Massol, Merwln & Co. . . 100 Cash (pd) 500
C. L. Bird............ 50 ______
M. Greenhood 25 Total $38,570
M. Wachhorst... 25
THE PAVILION.--Yesterday was a busy day at the Agricultural Pavilion. The San Francisco steamer brought up about forty cases and bales of clothing, blankets, etc., donated by San Franciscans, to be distributed by the Howard Benevolent Soclety, and the goods were taken to the Pavilion, opened and arranged on temporary counters, and goodly supplies given out to needy applicants. Among other necessaries we noticed mattresses, blankets, comforters, boots, shoes, stockings, coats, pants, dresses (ready made), bonnets, under garments and shawls.
Many very costly goods for ladies' wear were among the lot, the donors probably considering them just as comfortable as poorer ones. Those who are in want of warm clothing, and unable to buy it, have only to make their wants known and they will be supplied by the Howard Society, until the means of relief deposited with them are exhausted. Large numbers of women and children still remain at the Pavilion, and are bountifully supplied with goodu sbstantial [sic] food.
THE UNION AND THE FLOOD.--The Nevada Transcript, of December 12th, speaking of the flood in Sacramento, says :
THE SACRAMENTO UNION office, on Fourth street, having its engines in the cellar, will not be able to turn out its immense edition, as the cellars must be full, and the engines of course stopped.
There are four errors or misstatements in the above. The UNION office is on Third street, not Fourth. Its engine is not in the cellar. It was able to turn out its " immense edition." The engine was not stopped, and the UNION lost no day in publication. We acknowledge, however, there has been quite a flood in Sacramento, and that it came up to the floor of our first story.
EFFECT OF THE FLOOD ON AGRICULTURE AND MINING.
The effect of the late flood upon the agricultural and mining interests of the State will be in the highest degree disastrous. The sudden rise and tremendous torrent of water which plunged from the mountains into the valleys demonstrates that gigantic works by human hands will be demanded before the flood which
our mountain streams empty into the valleys can be confined within and over the beds of the rivers in those valleys. Such a mass of water as was discharged from the mountains in the recent storm, demands and takes possession of all the low grounds in order to make its way to the ocean.
For some eight or nine years, the farmers on the Sacramento have not been very seriously injured by high water, and many of them had probably concluded that the day of floods had passed. They have, therefore, gone forward in improving their farms--building houses and fences, intended as permanent improvements. Hundreds of thousands have been expended in this manner, and for improved stock, by men who have applied to the improvement of their farms any surplus dollars realized since 1853. In a single day all this has been swept from them by the remorseless torrent, and they are left to begin again in the world, if they have the courage to undertake a second improvement on land so much exposed to the devastating floods.
A single case will serve to illustrate the general condition of the farmers in this valley: Below this city, and on the Sacramento, there is a fine farming section, in ordinary times, extending from thirty to forty miles in length, by a width varying from two to seven or eight miles. This whole section, with the exception of the tule portion, is settled by industrious and thriving farmers, who have not been overflowed since 1853. Last season--by a close and vigorous watch, they succeeded in keeping the Sacramento from overflowing the land for some ten miles below the city. By private enterprise the river has been leveed in a slight way, from the city to near the Georgiana slough. But, after getting some ten miles below last year, we believe the levees proved insufficient.
This year the section we are describing was mostly flooded from the overflow of the American river east of the city. The water which rushed into, through and past the city, spread over the country south of Sutterville and inside the levee of the Sacramento river. As a consequence, the farms for miles below here are
submerged, the fences of the owners are mostly washed away, and, unless the river falls within a short time, no crops can be safely calculated upon this season. In fact, unless the slough above Smith's Garden can be closed, the farmers below Sutterville cannot risk putting in crops; because they are liable to be overflowed at every rise of the American during the Spring and Winter.
No event so disheartening to the farmers on the Sacramento, Feather, Yuba and American rivers has occurred since this valley has been in possession of the Americans as the recent flood. It has destroyed the labor of years, deprived men of the means for continuing their farming operations, and, even if they had the means, the insecurity of their position is so great that few will have the heart to attempt to raise a crop.
From the mountains, the news received announces disaster after disaster from rushing torrents.
The damage inflicted upen miners can never be known, but it must reach in amount to a startling sum. Reservoirs have been destroyed, ditches cut away, mining claims filled up, flumes torn up, cabins floated off, fences demolished, gardens ruined, orchards washed out by the roots, the water leaving desolation in its track. The loss to the mountain counties in roads and bridges, will reach a figure which would astonish the country could it be correctly ascertained.
The fury of the flood extended to the north portion of the State, causing as great a freshet in the rivers which empty into the Pacific ocean, and as great a destruction of property on them, as on the rivers which discharge their waters into the Sacramento valley.
This flood has caused more destruction of property, and more suffering in California, than the various campaigns in Missouri have caused to the property and people of that State. It may be classed as a terrible visitation.
STREETS AND SIDEWALKS.--The wretched condition of our streets and sidewalks calls for the immediate attention of the authorities, as well as of the People's Committee. The sidewalks and crossings ought to be repaired at the earliest moment; they are now in an impassable condition. Individuals have suffered so heavily as to render many of them unable to repair their sidewalks.
In all such cases the Citizen Committee should act and let the
expenses be paid by the owner at some future time. Drainage, too, must be provided for. It has been frequently asserted that the city is so flat as to render it impossible to drain off the water; but since the flood, ditches have been opened through J, K and L streets, through which water runs with a pretty strong current thus showing, as we have often declared, that the water on the streets would run off if drains were provided. The ditches through those streets are left unbridged--they should be bridged so as to render the streets passable, and the work ought to be done today.
Deep holes have been washed in numerous places on the main traveled streets, which should be filled. Something, too, ought to be done about providing means for people to enter and depart from the city with teams, stages, etc. The bridges at the Fort have been destroyed, and two good ferries ought to be maintained there under the supervision of the authorities. Private individuals have established one over the slough near the fort; but that is not sufficient, and besides, the matter should be regulated by law.
The draining of the streets is a matter which demands immediate attention. Lindley & Co. and some others employed Engineer Leet yesterday to lay a drain in Seventh street, to carry the water from their cellars. He thinks that not only the streets, but the cellars on J street, can be relieved by under drainage, and that without difficulty. Why not go forward and adopt a plan for clearing the streets of water?
THE MEANS OBTAINED.--Finding so many difficulties of a legal character in the way of obtaining the money in the Interest and Sinking Fund, a few leading citizens concluded to make another effort to raise the money by individual loans, to be returned within twelve months by a special tax. The sum proposed to raise was $45,000, of which about $30,000 was subscribed immediately. With such a prospect of means, work, under the supervision of the Committee, was commenced to strengthen the levee below R street, and, if possible, to close the crevasse two miles below the city.
Work was also vigorously begun at the point on I street where the St. George sewer was permitted to be put into the levee. Energetic measures will be taken to repair and strengthen the levee on all sides, and the people may now look forward with hope to the time when their city will be free from water, and protected from further encroachments from the American river.
There is much to be done, and the Committee has before it a laborious and responsible duty. But the members are men who are equal to the crisis. Our prospects are brightening.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Relief Measures--Arrest for Stealing--Libel of Vessel--Donation--Fatally Injured.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13th
The Central Committee of Relief met to-day and provided subscription books for members of the sub-committees, to guard against imposition. The certificate reads as follows:
Mr. ------- is authorized to receive contributions of money and provisions, clothing or bedding, for the relief of the sufferers by the flood at Sacramento and other parts of the Slate.
Signed by H. F. Teschemacher, J. N. Risdon and W. C. Ralston. . . .
The Late Storm in Carson Valley--Damage to Property.
CARSON CITY, Dec. 13th.
The damage done by the late freshet is not as serious as at first anticipated. Gregory & Riddle's saw mill was damaged about $3,000--having gravel, logs and bowlders washed into it, completely covering boilers and engine. The foundation was slightly injured. Childs & Hunt's quartz mill was slightly injured.
Ash & Co.'s saw mill was carried away.
At Washoe, a slide took place, demolishing three houses. One man named Penrod, a brother of Mina Penrod, Clear creek, was buried.
His body is not recovered. The damage is confined to mills and ranches located at canons at the foot of the mountains. Carson river is very high, though not overflowed.
The water was from three to five inches deep in the streets here, but in lese than twenty hours all was dry.
At Gold Hill several mills were injured; none seriously. At Silver City all the mills were more or less injured, but none permanently. Kingsbury & McDonald's road, above Genoa, was washed and injured not less than $5,000. Stages, however, still pass over it. The weather is now delightful. . . .
THE FLOOD IN PLACERVILLE.--The storm of last Saturday and Sunday caused the waters of Hangtown creek to overflow its banks, doing a great amount of damage to property holders. . . .
THE MUNICIPAL CRISIS.
MEETING OF CITIZENS.
The meeting of citizens convened to devise ways and means for the protection of the city against inundation. reassembled, pursuant to adjournment, at the County Conrt room yesterday morning, Judge C. H. Swift presiding.
There was a very large attendance of the more [?] substantial citizens.
The CHAIRMAN said there was a Committee appointed yesterday to confer with the Treasurer and Auditor in relation to the probability of getting the City Interest and Sinking Fund for the purpose of appropriating it to the preservation of the city from future inundation. He was on that Committee, but would ask some other member present to state whether any definite answer had been received from those officers. He had seen the Treasurer this morning, and he was not prepared then to give an answer.
If he was present he would like to hear from him, or from his attorney.
J. B. HARMON said Mr. Bird was here a moment ago, but had gone out again. He (Harmon) had an interview with him last night as counsel, together with one or two other citizens, and he had no objectlon to giving the meeting his own views on the subject.
At this time Mr. BIRD came in and spoke to Mr. Harmon.
Mr. HARMON (resuming) said Mr. Bird desired him to state what passed between them.
What Mr. Bird would do was a matter that he would decide for himself, but before they reached the Treasurer they must go to the Auditor who, according to the plan proposed, must countersign the warrant of the President of the Board of Supervisors. If the Auditor refused to draw the warrant, that would let the Treasurer out, and whether he would refuse or not was another question. The question here was, Could the citizens get the money legally? Mr. Bird applied to him last night to consult upon that question with him, both as a lawyer and as a friend, two things which did not mix very well, perhaps, in these matters.
As a lawyer he advised Mr. Bird that there was no legal way of getting the money except by choking him and taking it out of his hands. [Laughter.]
He (Harmon) did not believe, in short, that the bond the citizens proposed to give the Treasurer was worth the paper it was written upon. They were in desperate circumstances, and as a citizen he was in favor of doing anything to bring relief that legally and morally they might do, but a bond to indemnify a public officer for a known violation of law, would undoubtedly be void. Where a public officer was in doubt as to his duty such a bond might hold, but here it was universally admitted, or ought to be, that the money could not legally be drawn out. In such cases the Courts would hold the bond to be void on the ground of public policy, because they might as well undertake to indemnify a man for stealing a horse, or committing a murder.
That was his decided opinion, although possibly he might be in error. This money was appropriated by law to pay the coupons of the bond holders, and in his judgment could not be reached even by an Act of the Legislature. In respect to her city debt Sacramento was placed in a worse position than most other cities, and if the Legislature were to pass a law to draw out this fund the Courts would enjoin it, because it would affect the contract between the city and the bond holders, and would therefore be unconstitational. In other cities the corporate authorities were usually authorized to levy a tax to pay the interest on the city debt, and if they neglected to levy that tax the interest would not be paid; but the law in relation to Sacramento declared that fifty-five per cent of all the revenue raised should be set apart as an Interest and Sinking Fund, so that if any money was raised at all for any purpose fifty-five per cent of it was bound to go for that purpose.
The bond holders took their securities with that understanding, so that this case would come clearly within the clause of the Constitution of the United States, (which he claimed still to be governed by) which prohibited the impairing of contracts. Again, would the Treasurer be protected by the warrant of the Auditor? He said no.
If there were money in the General Fund, and the Board of Supervisors appropriated for any purpose, for charity, or even to be thrown into the river, and the Auditor countersigned the warrant, then the Treasurer wunld be protected by the warrant, but in this case, the money was specifically set apart by law for this particular purpose, and the Treasurer or his sureties could not be protected by the authority of the Board of Supervisors. There was no way in which they could be legally protected if the Treasurer paid out this money.
CHARLES CROCKER said then let them do something else, and he was there prepared to make a proposition.
He thought yesterday that he foresaw the end of this affair, and on his own responsibility he went around yesterday with Mr. Warwick, and saw as many as he could of the citizens possessed of means. He had been unable to see Booth & Co., Sneath & Arnold, and some other large firms, yet he had met with a good degree of success.
This morning he saw Mr. McLane of the Gas Company, who proposed if the citizens would raise $40,000, they would contribute $5,000, provided steps should be taken to have the loan receivable for taxes next Fall, and B. F. Hastings had just now authorized him to say that he would lend $5,000 upon the same terms. [Applause] Let them stop talking about taking money that did not belong to them, and go to work to bring this city into safety.
They could do it and no mistake. [Applause ] There was money enough if they would only go about raising it, and he was prepared to double his subscription of yesterday. [Applause.] Let them stop harping about money that belongs to others, and that he was fully satisfied they could not get.
Let them resolve to rise superior to this emergency and overcome the difficulties before them. Let them appoint three or four influential men to take that paper and fill it up with subscriptions, and he was confident that in less than two hours they would get $40,000. He was told that they were threatened with a break right there on Fourth street,
and they could not get a dozen men to put a pick into the ground till the money was raised. He moved that a Committee of three be appointed to raise the money, pledging the citizens to take the necessary action to secure the passage of a law authorizing the reception of the evidence of the loan in payment of taxes. Then every man would feel safe in making the loan.
The CHAIRMAN said he thought that it would be better to repay the loan by a special tax to be levied immediately.
Mr. CROCKER said that would be still better, and no doubt it could be done.
J. H. WARWICK said he knew there were many who would willingly subscribe, and for one, though he had not money he had moneys worth, and if any one would advance the money on his watch and chain, he would put them down to the account of the fund. [Applause.]
Thereupon Mr. Warwick stripped off his watch and chain and laid them on the table before the Chairman.
C. CROCKER said that was the right spirit to redeem the city, and called for the question on his motion to appoint a Committee of three to solicit subscriptions.
The motion prevailed by a decisive vote.
The CHAIRMAN named as the Committee, C. Crocker, J. H. Warwick and Dr. J. F. Morse.
Dr. MORSE said his time was so peculiarly occupied in the city that he could not attend to the duty as well as others. He proposed that Mr. Boyd be appointed in his place.
Mr. BOYD said he must decline because he could have no faith in this movement and no heart to work for it.
He was for getting out this $75,000 anyhow. [Applause] That was money which had been contributed pro rata by every citizen, it would do no good to the bond holders at present for the Treasurer had assured him that he would pay out none of it till the full amount was there to meet all the coupons, and it was lying idle and useless as it would for months to come.
CHARLES CROCKER said they could not get it, and while they were wasting time about it the flood would be upon them.
Dr. HOUGHTON said the bond holders themselves would be in favor of their taking the money, because if they did not the bondholders well knew they would never get another dime.
This interest would be the last that this broken down city would ever pay.
Judge HARTLEY suggested that if an indemnity bond would be void, they could nevertheless get one or two hundred names of men who would feel themselves morally bound, and who, if any difficulty arose, would stand in the gap and save the Treasurer and Auditor harmless. He believed Mr. Bird himself would assent to it.
CHARLES CROCKER inquired of Mr. Bird if any amount of bond would induce him to pay over the money.
Mr. BIRD replied that he could not say what he would do; he had seen no warrant yet. But he would say that no bond and no number of gentlemen's words conld protect him against a criminal prosecution, for in law it would be a crime.
Mr. CROCKER--lf the warrant is drawn will you pay it?
Mr. BIRD--I would not like to make such a promise.
Mr. CROCKER--Would it render you liable to a criminal action?
Mr. BIRD--l will let my counsel answer that.
Mr. HARMON said he had so advised Mr. Bird, but at the same time told him that he thought no jury could be found who would render a verdict against him. [Applause.]
Mr. BIRD said that might be so, but nevertheless it would go abroad to the world that he stole the money and deserved to be punished for it, although he escaped.
A gentleman suggested that if the Treasurer paid over the money contrary to an injunction it would be contempt of Court, and there would be no jury about it.
Mr. HARMON said he approved of Mr. Crocker's idea, that Sacramento had not yet gone down, and could rise superior to any calamity.
But if they wanted to indemnify Mr. Bird, he would suggest that the Supervisors, by ordinance, appoint a Board of Levee Commissioners, whom the citizens might approve, authorizing them to borrow the money dollar for dollar, and then call upon the Legislature to legalize their acts. That would be the only way.
Mr. BOYD said he knew something about raising money in Sacramento, and he knew that the very men generally foremost in subscribing were now many of them unable to do anything.
Mr. CROCKER said they only lacked $11,000 of raising the amount required.
Mr. BOYD insisted that it was wrong to call upon a few men to sacrifice their means for the public good when there was money lying idle in the Treasury.
Mr. CROCKER asked if it was any worse to ask individuals to contribute, than to ask an honorable man to become a criminal.
Mr. BOYD said there was another mode of getting the money, and he did not propose to ask Mr. Bird to do anything criminal.
Mr. CROCKER--Then for God's sake go and get it, you that want it.
W. W. UPTON said the city had already been flooded, and the water had done pretty much all the damage it was likely to do; let them not add to the calamity the destruction of the financial reputation of the city.
If this money should be illegally taken it might well be said that Sacramento had "gone in." The treasury was not the only place where gold coin
was lying idle. There was coin in Hastings' and Mills' banks, and by Mr. Crocker's plan it could be drawn out, saving the city and its reputation. This might not be repudiation, but the world would call it so; it would go to New York and to London that Sacramento had repudiated.
Col. SANDERS said he had come back to be a citizen of Sacramento again. He warned the cltizens to be careful who they trusted their money with, for there were sharks among them who wanted to get means to make off. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN said he would appoint as the third member of the Committee, on Mr. Crocker's motion.
Mr. Anthony declined to serve, and Mr. Boyd was appointed.
The CHAIRMAN said he would use his influence to have the Legislature pass an Act to raise a special tax to pay this loan immediately.
Mr. WARWICK said he would pledge the Sacramento delegation to do all they could to make that subject the first business before the Legislature.
R D. FERGUSON said he had just returned from the levee below R street, and it was in imminent danger. Some one with authority to act was wanted there immediately, or in two or three hours the water would be sweeping the country down to Sutterville, and backing up over the city.
Mr. CROCKER said be moved that the President of the Board of Supervisors go and stop all the leaks, and he would see that the expense was paid. [Applause ]
Dr. J. F. MORSE said as the determination to push the subscription and make that the mode of relief, he would move that the Committee appointed last night be the Committee to take charge of and lay out the funds raised.
The motion was modified so as to appoint six on the Committee, namely: Messrs. L. B. Harris, C. W. Lightner, C. B. Swift, W. F. Knox, Mark Hopkins and R. P. Figg, and then adopted.
Mr. BOYD .said, although it was against his idea of the best policy to pursue, yet as the course was resolved upon, he would consent to serve on the Committee to solicit and collect subscriptions with Messrs. Crocker and Warwick, and would do whatever it was his duty to do.
MR. CROCKER--Now, gentlemen, you do the work and we will get the money.
The CHAIRMAN declared the meeting adjourned sine die. . . .
FOR THE PREVENTION OF IMPOSITION the Directors of the Howard Benevolent Association request that parties who have suffered by the late inundation would bring with them a note from one of the undersigned, vouching for them, or from some person known in the community.
Charitable people, both in the city and outside, are desired to use their efforts to hunt up needy and destitute families, and either send a voucher or call at the Agricultural Hall for such relief as may be needed.
The efforts of the active members or the Society are constantly exerted to meet all the wants of sufferers, but are not fully adequate to investigate cases and afford relief as promptly as may in all cases be requisite, and prevent imposition.
The Society, by the generosity of the citizens of San Francisco, Sacramento, and other places, is in a condition to relieve all cases of great destitution, and desires only to guard itself from gross imposters.
The Board of Directors will be in session at Agricultural Hall at all times.
GEORGE W. MOWE, Front st.,
L. A. BOOTH, J st.,
JAMES P. ROBINSON, Front st.,
JOHN McNEILL, cor. J & 7th,
JAMES E. PERKINS, J st.,
N. A. H. BALL, Agricultural Hall,
JOHN H. CARROLL, Front st.,
CHARLES ROBIN. J bet. 6th & 7th,
JAMES L. ENGLISH, J bet. 1st & 2d,
H. W. HARKNESS. K bet. 2d & 3d,
JOSEPH W. WINANS. J cor. 3d,
GEORGE L. LYTLE, K cor 4th,
SAMUEL CROSS, K bet. 6th & 7th,
T. M. LINDLEY, J cor 7th,
P. H. RUSSELL, J bet. 7th & 8th,
THEO MILLIKEN, J bet. 6th & 7th,
F. A. GIBBS, 7th bet. I & J,
JOSEPH M. FREY, K cor. 4th,
RICHARD DALE. J bet. 6th & 7th,
EDGAR MILLS. J bet. 2d & 3d,
N. GREENE CURTIS, 6th bet. I & J,
R. T. BROWN, J bet. 3d & 4th,
D. O. MILLS, J bet. 2d & 3d,
O. D. LAMBARD, I bet. Ist & 2d,
A. M. HAYDEN, at Wells, Fargo & Co,
REV. W. H. HILL, 7th bet. G & H,
DR. J. F. MONTGOMERY, cor J & 7th,
A. G. RICHARDSON, at Wells, Fargo & Co.,
LEW. B. HARRIS, Ridge,
N. L. DREW, 3d bet. N & O. d14 . . . .
THE DANGER.--The Sacramento river has risen four inches since our last report, the city water gauge at the foot of H street marking at dusk last evening a trifle over 22 feet. During the day yesterday the rise was very slow, so much so that many people supposed the river had stopped rising; but an accurate measurement showed a rise of three quarters of an inch from one o'clock to half-past five. There were serious apprehensions during the day yesterday that the levee would give way at the weak spot just below R street, and a large crowd of our fellow citizens stood around the spot during the day, waiting for the catastrophe and not lifting a finger to avert it.
The only way to make absolutely certain of that point seems to be to build a new levee inside of it, but President Shattuck expressed the opinion that it could be secured by sinking a large canvas in the river so as to cover the threatened place and prevent the water from washing it. The canvas will probably be prepared some time next week, if at all, but perhaps that would be soon enough, as no immediate danger need be apprehended at that point. At the Halfway House the crevasse has, of course, continued to widen and deepen, and men have continued to look at it and invent plans to mend it, without doing a thing towards carrying out their numerous admirable inventions. The swirl of the rushing torrent through the gap seems to have the effect of paralyzing the energies of men.
Possibly it suggests to them the idea of an overruling Providence, and they wait and watch in vague expectation that Providence will in some inscrutable manner dam up the current. The fall of water through this opening is only about two feet, and consequently it cannot dam up the water in the lower part of the city so as to raise it more than two feet higher than it is at present. The rise in the submerged streets yesterday was six or eight inches.
At the breaks in the R street levee there was no perceptible current either way, the slough below filling up from the Half Way House crevasse just about as fast as the city filled from seepage, drainage, etc. Probably the most dangerous point at present is the threatened break in the I street levee, at Fourth street, where Hardenbergh was allowed to put in a drain from the St. George Hotel to the slough. As water has an irrepressible tendency to run down hill, when the slough was filled by the flood the drain worked admirably the wrong way.
Daring the day, yesterday, the end of the drain in the alley back of the St. George sent up a large bubbling fountain and in J street copious streams flowed eastward, threatening to inundate the floors of shops on the north side as far as Fifth street, where the water was carried across the street in a ditch. Yesterday afternoon men were set to work under the direction of the Citizens' Committee, and succeeded, it is hoped and believed, in finding the mouth of the sewer in the slough, and after surrounding it with canvass, filled in sand bags and earth till they succeeded measurably in choking it up and stopping the flow of water. Some uneasiness was felt late yesterday afternoon in regard to the Sixth street levee, between the Chinese chapel and the Ohio Brewery.
Considerable earth caved in, but by means of sacks of earth the place was made tolerably secure.
MEETING OF THE HOWARD BENEVOLENT SOCIETY--The active members of this Society met last evening at eight o'clock, at the banking house of D. O. Mills & Co., for the purpose of adopting proper measures for the disbursement, among the sufferers by the flood, of the large amounts placed in their hands. D. O. Mills stated that the donors of the $7,300 brought up by Louis McLane, from San Francisco, deputed that gentleman to make known their wishes in relation thereto. The Howard Society, being a city institution, they thought it necessary, in order to effect the end they had in view, that they should especially request that their contributions should go to the relief of any persons in distress, whether in or out of the city, whose cases come to the knowledge of the Society.
At an informal meeting of several active members, held in the morning, assurances had, he said, been given that the wishes of the donors would be faithfully fulfilled. Rev. W. H. Hill and Dr. Montgomery were elected active members. A communication was received from John G. Downey, inclosing a check for $100 for the relief of the sufferers. Doctors Harkness, Montgomery and Frey were appointed a Committee to superintend and have the care of such hospitals as may be found necessary.
A hospital will probably be provided to-day for the sick ones now at the Pavilion, among whom are three women, enceinte, another with a child two days old, and others in a weak and exhausted condition. R. T. Brown was duly elected Permanent Secretary of the Society. Edgar Mills, N. G. Curtis, W. H. Hill, and R. Dale were appointed a Committee to assist the Board of Directors during the present contingency. The names of Murray Morrison, and Dr. Blake were dropped from the list of active members, and that of N. L. Drew was added. Several motions, all of which are embodied in the advertisement of the Society, in another column, was carried, and after appropriating $500 to a Contingent Fund for the Directors, the Society adjourned until Saturday.
The meeting of the Society was a long one, and the exchanging of important information and suggestions consumed most of the time. The Society was so pressed with the duties of the occasion that no time was found for giving any acknowledgment, formally, by resolutions, for the generosity of the people of San Francisco. At the meeting, however, the reporter was requested to thus explain the apparent omission, and to say that the proceedings of the Society in reference to the matter would be published at an early day.
RELIEF FOR THE SUFFERERS.--Relief for the sufferers by the late flood came promptly and liberally to hand yesterday. The people of San Francisco upon the first receipt of the news of the disastrous inundation here, commenced moving in the matter. The bankers of that city, alone, immediately subscribed the sum of $7,300, and appointed Louis McLane their agent to bring it up. Forty cases and bales of clothing, etc., was also speedily raised, and these munificent donations reached this city by yesterday morning's boat, and were placed in the hands of the Howard Benevolent Society.
Further sums to a very large amount, $20,000 it is said, have also been subscribed, and will reach us in a day or two. The generous sum already named is, it should be remembered, from the bankers alone. Our people are overwhelmed with gratitude at this warm and substantial sympathy exhibited by the people of San Francisco, and would, if practicable, give it a suitable expression. The donations will be disbursed among the needy by prudent hands, and the pressing necessities of all who will make their wants known can doubtless be ministered to.
In addition to the above, a considerable sum has been subscribed by others. The California Steam Navigation Company paid over to the Howard Association $1,000 yesterday. Governor Downey, last evening, sent in a check for $100.
The San Francifco [sic] Bulletin Company forwarded to the Union office the sum of $100, to be applied for the relief of the suffering poor in Sacramento. The amount was handed over to the Treasurer of the Society. Three hundred dollars was given to the Treasurer unaccompanied by any name. The Association will soon publish the list of donations received from all sources.
CASTAWAY.--"A Sutterville Blacksmith" sends us an amusing account of the manner in which he and his friend passed the night of Monday last, "on a lone barren isle," as already mentioned in the Union. They at first climbed a tree for safety, and afterwards came down again, managed to light a fire, and cooked a chicken, which the flood brought them, and made themselves as comfortable as possible. During the night they saw floating by them "horses, haystacks, chickens, cats and pieces of boards, and household furniture of all kinds." Twenty soldiers from Camp Union were bivouacked on the other side of the flood, sent by Major Coult to render any assistance in their power, and the blacksmith says one of the soldiers swam three-quarters of a mile to get a boat for them.
He concludes his communication by expressing a hope that when Major Coult and his boys get after Jeff. Davis, they may run him on an island, surrounded as he was on Monday night, and never let him off.
THE CITY APPROACHES.--A ferry has been established at Lisle's bridge, and milk wagons and other vehicles were safely brought over yesterday from the part of the bridge still standing to the shore on this side, and vice versa. The road is good to this ferry down Twentieth street. A wagon loaded with wood, and drawn by four mules, came across Norris' bridge yesterday, and the wagon was only wet a little way up the wagon-body. The ferry at Sutter's Fort continues to run regularly.
Ranchmen frem the upper and lower Stockton roads cross from the north end of Poverty Ridge to M street, by fording on the line of Twenty-first street. The water is about four feet deep and more than a block wide. It is impossible to haul a full load across. Many are hauling out damaged grain, etc., and boating it across the channel and then reloading it.
There is a constant stream of water passing this point. It comes from the American river, where the first break occurred and runs down into the Sutterville slough. . . .
SUNDAY NOTICES.--There will be divine service to-morrow morning at the Rev. Mr. Benton's church, at the regular hour. As it is not certain that the church can be lighted in the evening, there will be no service then. Rev. Dr. Peck will preach to-morrow morning and evening at the Sixth Street Methodist Church. Subject in the morning, "The Flood." The church is in good condition. There will be divine service at the Presbyterian Church, Sixth street, between J and K, at quarter before eleven o'clock A.M. Sermon by the Pastor. Subject, " God's Providence in the Flood." All are invited to attend; no service in the evening. . . .
NEPTUNE HOSE COMPANY.--At a special meeting of Neptune Hose Company, held last evening, the following preamble and resolutions were passed: "Whereas, many worthy families have been rendered houseless and destitute by the late inundation of this city; therefore, be it Resolved, That we hereby tender the use of the house of this company to any families that may require it; Resolved, That we the members of this company do pledge ourselves, separately and collectively to do all in our power to alleviate the sufferings of those who may claim our protection. . . .
GOOD AGAIN.--We are informed that W. H. Taylor, agent of the California Steam Navigation Company, sent yesterday to the Howard Benevolent Society a check for $1,000. The Navigation Company have, during the past season, manifested great liberality in many respects. We are also informed that on Monday night, when the city was flooded, large numbers of homeless persons were taken on board the steamers Gem, Swan, Swallow and Helen Hensley, on each of which food was cooked and furnished free of charge all night.
NOT GUILTY.--It has been stated that the crevasse below the Halfway House was caused by a ditch cut across by direction of Supervisor Dickerson, to let the water in the slough run into the river. This, Wilson Flint assures us is incorrect. Supervisor Dickerson's ditch was cut at Sutterville, where it should have been, and the break at the Halfway house was caused entirely by the force of the torrent in the slough on Monday, which forced its way through into the Sacramento river, then much lower than at present.
A RAY OF HOPE.--We learn that the Calaveras, Mokelumne and San Joaquin rivers have not risen a great deal in consequence of the late rains, which extended mainly over the northern part of the State. This fact affords good ground to hope that the surplus waters of the Sacramento will be mainly carried off in the direction of these rivers, instead of backing up on the city as has been apprehended. Yesterday afternoon the water below Sutterville was passing off as freely as at any time "since the flood."
FENCES AND SIDEWALKS.--Wemmick, with all his knowledge of and love for "portable property," would be astounded to see fences and sidewalks included in that sort of wealth as they have been here during the past week. The owners of the wandering goods are quite successful in recovering them. Many who thought they had secured a good lot of drift wood have found themselves poorer by having to surrender a neighbor's fence, sidewalk, or porch. . . .
LIVES SAVED.--Police Officer Cody has stated to us that Adams, the proprietor of the Washton Bakery, saved from the flood on Monday his (Cody's) wife and three children. Cody's house was located on the corner of Eleventh and H. His family were in imminent danger, when Adams disinterestedly left his own affairs to attend to those of a suffering fellow citizen
MEANNESS.--We are informed that on the night of the flood, some eight or ten persons, who had been driven from their homes, were refused admission to the house or even the yard of a wealthy resident of Poverty Ridge. It is also stated that a man who was sick, crippled and penniless, was a day or two since refused admission to one of our hotels.
WANT TO KNOW.--Many of the ladies of the city are anxious to learn by what means they can wash successfully such laces, etc., as have been exposed to the yellow mud of the late flood. It cannot be disposed of by any ordinary means. Let chemists answer, or anybody else who knows.
AT WORK.--Almost everybody is busy. Those who can are at work for the public good, and those who have been badly wrecked, are setting things in order about their own premises. Such industry as is being exhibited will very soon restore our city to something like its wonted appearance.
PETTY THIEVES.--The presence of large quantities of goods at the Pavilion yesterday, tempted some suspicious looking strangers to that place. Chief Watson had a look-out for them and it is not probable that they met with any considerable success, if they were after plunder
THE LEVEL.--Parties who took the level of the Sacramento with instruments yesterday afternoon, report that the surface of the water is within one inch of the hight of the flood of Monday. This is all very well if it will keep on its own side of the levee. . . .
BACKS OUT.--S. Wormser, of the firm of I. and S. Wormser, on Thursday subscribed $500 to the fund for building a new levee. Yesterday he repudiated the act, but will contribute the sum of $100 to the fund.
CAMP FIRES.--At various points on the Front street levee, between I and R streets, camp fires are kept up all night, around which groups of sleeping men may be seen by taking a midnight promenade along the river. . . .
ADVICES FROM STOCKTON.--A dispatch to the San Francisco papers, dated December 12th says :
Woolf and Cohen returned last evening from a pretty tedious trip to Sacramento by land. From them we learn that the road is open to within a mile or two of Sacramento. Dry creek bridge has gone, but the creek is fordable, and the report that Hicks' bridge is broken is incorrect. The bridge is in good order, but the causeway for a long distance each side has been overflowed to a great depth.
The travelers left here on Monday morning, stayed over night at Riley's waiting for the water to fall, and reached Poverty Ridge--within two miles of the Sacramento river--some time on Tuesday.
We learn from William Hicks that the freshet has caused no damage to the long bridge over the Cosumnes. The main bridge over Dry creek is still standing, while the bridges on each side are swept away. The Mokelumne river is bank full, but no fears are entertained of an overflow sufficient to cause any damage.
The Cosumnes is even higher than the Mokelumne, but the water has more facilities for escape, the river being wide at points where otherwise it might cause much damage.
The Calaveras shows no signs of an overflow, the water not having reached within several feet of its banks at the bridge-crossing. . . .
The water in the main slongh has risen rapidly during the past few days, and in Mormon Channel is running to a considerable depth, although showing no indication of an overflow.
The steamer Christiana left this city for French Camp early this morning. She will continue to ply between this locality and French Camp Slough--known during the high water of the Winter of 1862 [sic] as Ragtown--should the extent of the freighting trade warrant it. . . .
THE FRESHET NORTH.--A correspondent writing to the UNION from Red Bluff, furnishes the following particulars of the late flood in the North:
Charles Shafer, Express Messenger for Greenhood & Newbaur, was probably drowned on Saturday evening last, while on his way from Shasta to Volcano. The last seen of him was about four miles from Weaver, and he probably undertook to ford Brown's creek and was carried down. The machillas of his saddle were found about a mile below the ford. The body was not recovered.
Above Trinity Center, on the Yuba road, the bridge at Swift creek is gone; also Fitch's bridge. In Fitch's house the water was four feet deep, and he was obliged to take his family, with the corpse of his oldest child, who died the day before the rise of the water, on to a hay stack, where they remained part of two days. Of seven ferries and bridges on the Sacramento river from this place, (Red Bluff,) north, there is but one uninjured.
At Lewiston, Trinity river, two white men, James Dougherty and another, were drowned, and a little below, from fourteen to twenty Chinamen.
In all probability, the Stage Company have not a bridge standing on their road to Yreka. The Sacramento, opposite Shasta, was eight feet higher than in 1852-3. Swinford, Woodward & Co.'s mill, with twenty-five thousand feet of lumber was carried off. The loss was heavy. . . .
THE CONDITION OF SACRAMENTO.--Speaking of the present position of Sacramento, the San Francisco Herald says:
We are disposed to be as profane as Uncle Toby in the story of Le Fevre and swear that she shall not die. The energy of her business men and mechanics is deserving a better fate. We contend that it is the duty of the Legislature which will shortly assemble, to take her case in hand and rescue her from the calamitous position into which she has fallen.
DAMAGE IN GRASS VALLEY.--The Grass Valley National of Dec. 10th says:
The damage to property in and about Grass Valley has not been very large, although it has thrown some five hundred laborers in the quartz mines out of present employment. The Allison Ranch, Lafayette Scadden's and Jenning's mines have been compelled to suspend operations from the unusual influx of water. The damage in that way to both employers and employed is very great. Many other mines of smaller extent have also been filled with water
FREIGHT TO FRENCH CAMP.--The first load of freight to French Camp since the rains, by water, was shipped yesterday by James Pearson. The indications point favorably to a brisk trade in boat-freighting to French Camp ere the season closes.--Stockton Independent
Notice.--Consignees of freight are notified that all merchandise brought up by the boats of the California Steam Navigation Company, and now on the levee at this city, is at their sole risk. If desired, the freight can be stored on the steamer Eclipse. at the risk and expense of owners. A. REDINGTON, W. H. TAYLOR, } Agents Sacramento, December 12, 1861. dl2-8t
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3344, 16 December 1861 p. 1
THE REFORM SCHOOL.--Many apprehensions were felt by our people for the condition of the State Reform School, as it was generally supposed that the flood would certainly come into the basement floor, but from Pelton, who came down from there yesterday noon, we learn that the grounds were left untouched by the inundation, and stood out high and dry amid the surrounding deluge.
The Feather at that point was about level with the bank, which is high, but did not go over its edge. This demonstrates beyond a peradventure, that the site of the building is the best which could have been chosen. Marysville Appeal, Dec. 12th. . . .
BRIDGE CARRIED AWAY.--English's bridge on Bear river, between Auburn and Grass Valley, was carried away by the late flood. . . .
THE INUNDATION IN THE INTERIOR.
From our interior exchanges, so far as the same have come to hand, we condense the following statement of the disasters by flood in the several counties during the week last past:
EL DORADO COUNTY.
The bridges at Coloma, Uniontown, Salmon Falls and Chile Bar, on the forks of the American river, were all badly damaged. No mail from Georgetown or Auburn had reached Placerville for about a week, on Friday. No Sacramento mail reached there during three days of last week. The Democrat mentions the following losses in the county:
Center and Morrill's bridge over Weber creek was swept away, and the toll house of the Placerville and El Dorado Turnpike Company, on Hangtown Creek, a few hundred yards below our office, shared a similar fate. The rear wall of the new Methodist Episcopal church, in the basement, was crushed in by a bank of earth falling against it, making a hole about ten feet square, through which heavy bowlders rolled in on the floor. Three Chinamen near Uniontown, with their cabin, were swept away. Efforts were made to save them, but the current was too swift and strong for a boat to reach them. Nearly all the bridges over the little streams, so far as we have been able to learn, were destroyed.
Hangtown Creek overflowed its banks, and carried off some necessary but not very valuable property. The roads are represented to be in an almost impassable condition--in several places almost entirely washed away.
The following in reference to the condition of travel in the county is from the Coloma Times:
Communication from Georgetown, Greenwood, and in fact from the entire ridge between the Middle and South Fork of the American river to Sacramento, can be had by the way of Shaw's wire bridge at Mormon Island, which, we understand, remains uninjured. There is but one bridge across the Middle Fork of the American river--that is known as the Murderer's Bar wire bridge. We have not heard authoritatively, yet we presume that it escaped--it is a wire suspension, far above high water, and if the abutments stood, no other injury could be done it. The Rattlesnake Bar wire bridge, we learn, was not damaged at all.
The miners in Placer have suffered severely, and the damage to roads and bridges has been large. The Dutch Flat Enquirer says the Mineral Bar bridge, on the road from Illinoistown to Iowa Hill was carried away. This was considered one of the most substantial pieces of workmanship in the county. Ford's Bar bridge was also carried away. This bridge was for horsemen and foot passengers from lowa Hill to Dutch Flat, and was one of the great thoroughfares from Placervilie, Georgetown, Forest Hill, lowa Hill, Dutch Flat, Little York on to Nevada and Downieville.
The water reached its hight on Monday. At Junction Bar, a wire-suspension foot bridge, several cabins, and a number of large waterwheels, flumes, etc., were carried away. Every house on Pleasant Bar was surrounded by water, but by means of ropes, stone ballast and other fastenings they were prevented from floating away. On Horse-Shoe Bar the damage was extensive, the place being nearly all covered with water. At this bar, and also at Mad Canon Bar, Poverty Bar, Maine Bar, and Oregon Bar, immense losses were sustained by the carrying away of water wheels, derricks, sluices, flumes, mining cabins, and lumber. At Volcano Bar, a wire-suspension bridge which cost $2,500 one year ago was destroyed. Large numbers of Chinamen are reported by the Courier to have been drowned at Poverty, Maine, and Oregon Bars, and at the confluence of the Middle and North Forks of the American.
The new "Dardanelles Ditch" has been greatly injured by the freshet, the earth on the upper side in many places caving in and filling it up. The dam at the head of the Dutch Flat Company's ditch is said to have broken on Monday last, on the Main Fork of the North Fork and also their dam on the Middle Fork of the North Fork, causing a damage to the company of a thousand dollars or more.
Seems to have been touched lightly. The gulches and ravines were much swollen, but no serious losses are reported. The Chronicle says that some miners in Steep Gulch, back of Mokelumne Hill, had all their dirt carried away, and supposing that the Water Company's flume had broken down and emptied its contents into the gulch, went up to the agent and demanded some two thousand dollars damages. On being informed that there had been no water in the flume for the last ten days, they had to look to a higher source for their pay. At the Buckeye, the Gopher mining claim was entirely washed out. Loss about $800.
SILKIYOU [sic] COUNTY.
The rush of water which has swept the valleys did its work in the mountains, of course, some days before we felt it. The Yreka Journal of the 4th gives the following account of the overflowing of the creeks and gulches in that region on the preceding Saturday:
At five o'clock, water was rushing down Main street a foot deep, and Yreka creek was booming and flooding its banks from Main street almost to Dr. Wadsworth's residence. The water surrounded our office, and rushed in swift currents between the houses and barns back of us. At seven o'clock the Yreka creek bridge, on Miner street, floated off, stopping against stumps of trees about half a mile below town. All the buildings on the east side of Main street towards the creek, were surrounded if not flooded with water, and many gardens are completely ruined, being covered with sand and driftings from Greenhorn. Yreka creek divided south of Yreka, and one stream ran through town within fifty feet of Main street, flooding several premises in town and all along the creek to Shasta river.
Shasta river divided into several streams, at this time, and spread over ranches and claims, doing great damage and rendering the roads impassible for coaches. Scott river overran its banks and spread out over the adjoining country like an immense lake. In Scott Valley the telegraph poles were floated out for a distance of miles. The Journal estimates the losses of miners on McAdams creek alone, at $30,000.
The Trinity Journal estimates the loss on Trinity river at $150,000. The flood has made a clean sweep of the flumes, dams, mills and water wheels of miners, and has carried off many bridges, ranch improvements, fruit trees and much rich soil on the Trinity and its tributary creeks. Among the losses recorded by the Journal we find nine bridges--some totally destroyed, others badly damaged, and partially carried off--ten dams, several mills, and a long list of flumes and water wheels.
At the highest stage of the flood the South Yuba was twenty six feet above low water mark, and twelve feet higher than at any time last year. The Nevada Democrat of Tuesday had the following:
The Illinois, Webster's, and both of Freeman's bridges, were carried away on Sunday night, also the suspension bridge at Washington.
Considerable damage was occasioned by the tearing away of dams and flumes in Deer creek. The flume of Jeffrey & Co, coming into Deer creek at the Main street bridge was washed away, damaging the company to the amount of about $2,000. The bridge at the foot of Nevada street, Worrell's bridge at the Eagle saw mill, and the dams of Bovyer's ditches, the one above and the other below town, were swept off.
A gentleman from Jones's Bar informs us that great damage was occasioned by the flood at that place. At the upper end of the bar, where the channel is narrow, the water raised forty feet above the low water mark, being twelve or fifteen feet higher than ever known before. The foot bridge which crosses at the Bar, together with flumes, dams, sluices, derricks, and mining utensils generally, were carried away. One of the flumes destroyed was over a mile in length,
and cannot: be replaced for less than four thousand dollars. The quartz mill belonging to Fellows, at German Bar, was swept off.
The middle Yuba rose ten feet higher than at any previous time in the past ten years, and six feet above the highest water marks.
The Marysville Appeal has the following in reference to bridges in Nevada county:
We have before stated that Wood's bridge across the South Yuba, at Bridgeport, and Freeman's, across the Middle Yuba, near North San Juan, have been carried away by the freshet, as well as Webber's bridge across the South Yuba on the road between Nevada and North San Juan. Teams and stages are now crossing at Bridgeport by boat, and a huge ferry launch is being constructed for regular use until the bridge can be rebuilt. Freeman says he will have a new bridge by the first of January. Webber intends to construct a wire suspension this time; and so should all mountain bridge men hereafter.
The Appeal says that the only street of consequence that was flooded was First street, and that the water therein was only from eighteen inches to two feet in depth--and adds:
On First street are built the Merchants' Hotel, and the few brick stores which fell in. The larger and best built portion of the town was not flooded at all, and the leading thoroughfares were thronged, with man and women gazing at the surrounding waste of waters.
The heavy losses in Yuba county are among farmers and miners. Many families in moderate circumstances, residing west of F street in Marysville, must have experienced losses, not large, but neverless distressing to them. Along the Feather and Yuba bottoms, many people, overtaken by the flood on the night of Sunday the 8th, fled to the tree tops. One man took his three children to a tree and tied them up in the branches, where they remained several hours in the cold before a rescuer arrived.
The Beacon says the losses in the neighborhood of Red Bluff are but small. A slaughter house with some hides was swept off of the east bank of the Sacramento at that point. It is said.that Loomis Ward of Tehama has lost seven hundred sheep. In the town of Tehama the water was, says the Beacon, one foot in depth.
RUSSIAN AND EEL RIVERS.
J. W. Henderson arrived at San Francisco Saturday, and informed the Alta that the river rose as high there last Monday as in the Sacramento valley.
Eel river rose thirty feet above low water mark, and carried off many fences and much live stock.
Russian river rose fifteen feet or more. At Cloverdale the river cut a new channel, leaving the sawmill of Caldwell & Levy in the middle of the river. The mill was injured, and report says it will probably be abandoned. Between Cloverdale and Healdsburg the farmers lost much. Their fences and domestic animals were carried off, and in some places the soil was washed away.
At Big river two men were drowned.
At Oroville the Feather river had risen to a great hight on Sunday morning, the 8th, and boats had to be brought into use for the removing.of the inmates of houses on the bar. Many houses were made fast by ropes, but when night came few had withstood the violence of the torrent. On Monday morning the bar was entirely swept of every human habitation, and the flood threatened the town itself. The Record gives the metes and bounds of the inundation, there, as follows:
At the saw-mill and at the foot of Downer street, the water reached Montgomery street. At the foot of Myers street it was high enough to deposit quite an amount of drift wood immediately in the rear of Faulkner & Co.'s banking house. At Huntoon street it caused the hasty removal of the horses, harness, coaches, etc., from the stable of the California Stage Company, and giving it a pretty thorough washing out; while across the street, Nye's stable suffered the same fate. Chinatown barely escaped inundation, the water having just reached the street. The flood reached its highest stage about seven o'clock, Monday morning, and by ten o'clock its receding was perceptible.
The entire damage is estimated at $10,000. The farmers on the river, down as far as the Honcut, suffered severely, many being driven out of their houses, The Oroville Railroad grade was not disturbed, it being eighteen inches above the highest water mark. On Chico creek and the Sacramento river, within the limits of Butte county, thousands of cattle have been drowned, and ranch improvements carried off in great quantities. Major Bidwell of Chico has sustained considerable losses.
The Folsom Telegraph says that at that place the American rose eight feet higher on Monday than at the time of the great flood of 1852.
The Stockton Independent of Thursday has the following:
We learn from Hicks that the freshet has caused no damage to the long bridge over the Cosumnes. The main bridge over Dry creek is still standing, while the bridges on either side are swept away. The Mokelumne river is "bank full," but no fears are entertained of an overflow sufficient to cause any damage. The Cosumnes is even higher than the Mokelumne, but the water has more facilities for escape, the river being wide at points where otherwise it might cause much damage. The Calaveras shows no signs of an overflow, the water not having reached within several feet of its banks at the bridge crossing.
The freshet was very destructive at Santa Rosa. On Sunday night the people of the town were aroused by the ringing of bells, and half the town was found to be submerged to the depth of from one to four feet, by the rising of Santa Rosa creek. The Democrat says:
The damages sustained by our citizens and the county from the destruction of bridges and injury to roads were considerable, but we have not space for details. Fences were swept away, hogs drowned, hay and poultry carried off; in short, everything encountered in force by the flood was destroyed or carried away. The bridge at the southern entrance of the town was damaged to the extent of $300.
BRIDGES CARRIED OFF.
The following bridges, not mentioned by us before, we believe, have been swept away by the deluge, viz: Rice's bridge, on the North Yuba; also the bridges at Downieville and Goodyear's Bar, in Sierra county; the bridges across the Yuba at Foster's Bar and Bullard's Bar, and the bridge at Johnson's crossing of Bear river; also Turner's bridge across the Yuba, a few miles above Marysville, and Wood's wire suspension bridge at Parks' Bar (Yuba river), have all gone by the board. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . . The management at the Metropolitan Theater, San Francisco, gave a benefit for the Sacramento sufferers by the flood on Saturday evening. The theater was crowded.
In our columns will be found . . . and a condensed statement of the ravages of the flood in the interior of the State.
Under the head of "The Safety of the City," will be found an authoritative statement of the progress made by the Citizens' Committee in providing for the protection of the city. Several communications on the same subject will be noticed in this issue.
Colonel Bowie, of the Fifth Regiment sent a dispatch from San Francisco, on Saturday, to a citizen of Sacramento, requesting that, if more men were needed to work on the levee, word should be sent to Major Coult at Camp Union, expressing his (the Colonel's) wish that he would send up as many men as might be necessary.
The total amount of relief received in this city for the sufferers by the flood, from the citizens of San Francisco, up to the present time, is twenty-seven thousand seven hundred and ten dollars and forty cents, of which amount twenty-two thousand seven hundred and ten dollars and forty cents was in cash, and about five thousand dollars in well selected merchandise. Such instances of prompt and profuse generosity on the part of a community are of very rare occurrence.
The weekly report of the City and County Auditor exhibited the following balances as being on hand at the close of business on Saturday: In the County Treasury, $91,547.36; in the City Treasury, $81,425.55. Total, $172,972.91. . . .
REMOVAL OF THE STATE CAPITAL.--Before Sacramento had shaken the water, in which she had been submerged, from her garments, two or three papers in the interior and one or two in San Francisco commenced the work of urging a removal of the State Capital. If the people of the State should deem it inexpedient to retain the Capital here, Sacramento will not complain, but she protests against any [??] being made upon her in this connection before
she has closed her war against the watery element, which has been struggling to overwhelm her. We are pleased to see that some of our cotemporaries [sic] take the same view, and are too generous to participate in this vulture-like attack upon a suffering city. The Bulletin says:
If there has ever been a disposition in any portion of the State to remove the State Capital to some new place, the present misfortunes of Sacramento would cause such a proposition to be frowned down with withering scorn. The people of California have too much magnanimity, too strong a sense of justice, to countenance any attempt to take advantange [sic] of the misfortunes of one community to further the schemes of another. Not a single reason exists now for moving the seat of Government from Sacramento that has not existed in equal force for the past nine years; but, on the contrary, the entire safety of the State's property there is more completely established than ever.
The fourth and highest flood ever known has swept over the city, and not an ordinarily well constructed brick building is known to be damaged. The new State House, with its foundation eight or ten feet below the surface of the ground, and the walls laid in cement above high water mark, may stand through a hundred such inundations as the present without damage, while the halls of legislation and public archives will of course, be above the reach of water. The levee may be cut away, so that Sacramento will be liable to partial overflow every two or three years, and yet that city can grow and prosper, and still deserve to be the State Capital. These overflows, when anticipated, need not be calamities.
They deluge the city for a few days, cause suffering among the poor, and suspend business, but when the water subsides the damage is soon repaired. Many large cities in the world are subject to periodical overflows, and being prepared, suffer little more loss than other cities experience from the interruption of business by snow storms.
DEFENSES OF THE CITY.
A prominent citizen sends us a communication upon the probable cost of repairing the
levee from M street to the American river, as well as the work at Rabel's tannery. But his
estimate, it strikes us, would not put that levee in the condition it ought to be placed. It should not only be repaired, but made broader and
higher. What is done should be thorough. The Citizens' Committee is moving in the premises, as may be seen by a statement in another column. The members are moving energetically. They have generally selected the weak points for commencing work. As stated, the work near Rabel's tannery is important; the danger of a break was imminent, and but for the desperate efforts of those living in that
neighborhood, night and day, as we are personally aware, the city would have been flooded from that point before daylight Monday morning. A broad and high levee is needed at that point.
We regret that the Committee find it impracticable to stop the crevasse at the Halfway House, through which the water of the Sacramento is rushing. If it is impracticable to
close that crevasse, the people in the southern portion of the city are dependent upon a fall in the Sacramento for freedom from inundation. The residences of many of them are still so
submerged as to render them uninhabitable, and if the Sacramento continues high all winter they must remain under water. Certainly this will be the case unless the R street levee can be repaired so as to keep out back water.
There has for several days past been more or less talk of endeavoring to have the railroad come in on the north, rather than the south
side of the city. A correspondent from Nevada also advances the same idea. A railroad embankment on the north side, and near the
American river, would prove a very great defense to the city. It would not do away with the necessity of a levee, but it would add materially to our safety. When application was made to the City Council there were two railroad companies asking for the right to enter the city. Connected with one were such men as
ex-Governor Burnett, J. B. Haggin, and other prominent citizens the other was mainly represented by C. L. Wilson. Most persons were then confident that the Sacramento company would be most likely to build the road, and acordingly it wus granted the right of way to
come in on the south side. Burnett, Haggin, and others permitted their project to drop. Wilson & Co. went ahead and finally built the road to Folsom. This is the reason why the railroad happened to come in on the south instead of the north side of the city. As before remarked, a railroad embankment on the American river would prove a
very great protection to Sacramento, in place of flooding it as it did in its present location. The Railroad Company could, in part, make its peace with the people of Sacramento for having built a solid embankment on its present line, which acted as a dam to back the water into the city, thereby doing them an irreparable injury--by changing the location of the road to the bank of the American river. A railroad embankment, sixty feet wide on the top, from the high ground near Brighton to the
Sacramento river, would prove a breastwork to the water of the American, which it would be unable to surmount more than once in a century.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT.--Several of onr cotemporaries [sic] are engaged in giving us friendly words of encouragement in the midst of our "sea of troubles," for which the citizens of Sacramento feel duly thankful. The Bulletin says:
Sacramento is situated just where commerce demands a city, and four floods cannot wash her out. If every man, woman and child now resident there, should pull up stakes to-morrow and depart, a colony would pour in before Spring and rebuild a town, for that is the place for one.
If the grade of the city has been put too low, that is a mistake which time will rectify. The building of levees is not a much more serious job than constructing streets on marshy, tidewatered ground. To do the thing up right requires money, and with time, economy, and the determination at all risks to pay every dime that is already borrowed, the money will be forthcoming. Sacramento has come out of repeated baptisms of fire and water, and is certainly now devoted--not to destruction, but to the high career that awaits those who take their burnings kindly, and their rude baths with good nature.
She has Resurgam branded on her flank, and the owners of that brand never suffer their sort to stray permanently into the lowlands or lack good pasture.
When the Legislature meets, however, it may be deemed sound policy for the State to unite with the local government in constructing a new levee around the city on a more limited circuit than the present--such an embankment as will defy the approaches of any flood that can be expected until Noah's experience is repeated. A comparatively small sum of money, if honestly disbursed, would build such a levee.
The Alta adds:
The people of Sacramento, however crippled their corporate finances may be, have wealth enough among themselves to repair all the damages occasioned by the flood.
No matter how they proceed, the money will have to come
out of the pockets of the citizens in the end, and it is just as well to fall back upon these receptacles of cash now as ten years hence, especially, as by so doing, disgrace and ultimate ruin will be avoided.
The Journal, speaking of the money raised by Sacramento for self-protection, remarks:
This noble action by the brave citizens of Sacramento relieves our State and all its components from the fear of a great evil, for repudiation by Sacramento would have been necessarily followed by the destruction of confidence in every species of California security. The course of the city under the severe pressure of suffering it has now to endure in thus maintaining its faith, will be justly appreciated, and every right-minded man will strive to proffer every assistance to the citizens of Sacramento in their noble efforts which can be constitutionally extended, and which a generous magnanimity can bestow.
The San Francisco Mirror also says ;
The citizens of Sacramento have agreed to rebuild the levee and effect all necessary improvements by private subscription, and if $40,000 were raised on the spot.
The proposal to repudiate is not to be taken as derogatory to the reputation of those who favored it, but rather as the natural result of a panic in which all classes participated. This sober second thought action redounds, therefore, very highly to their credit.
The Marysville Appeal remarks: .
Energetic measures are being taken to drain the streets as fast as possible. May the beautiful and undaunted "city of homesteads" soon rise from the flood, higher and drier and securer than ever.
GIVE THEM LEGAL AUTHORITY.--As those who have voluntarily come forward and offered to loan the city from forty to fifty thousand dollars to be expended, and placed it in the hands of a Citizens' Committee, the Board of Supervisors might, by ordinance, authorize the Committee to act for the City as the agents of the authorities. By doing this, and then auditing the accounts for money paid for work, a claim with a legal semblance would exist against the City and in favor of the Committee.
A CORRESPONDENT makes some suggestions about cleaning and draining the streets, which are worthy of consideration. The business streets and sidewalks ought by all means to be cleaned, repaired and drained before the first of January. The Committee will have to give this matter consideration.
The Committee report it impossible to close the slough above Smith's until after the American falls. A contractor in the city offered yesterday to fill it up so as to stop the water and build a new levee for five hundred dollars. When doctors disagree who is to decide?
TAXPAYERS AND SUBSCRIBERS.
It is very well known that, when an emergency presents itself, and money is required for the public good--for the public safety--the few only respond. In most instances, too, the
same parties, probably because they always have done so, and because they are ready to meet an appeal in a public crisis promptly and liberally when first called upon. Such men
advance their means cheerfully, while many around them owning more property, and requiring more protection, do not subscribe a dollar. Sacramento is not an exception to this
general rule. In a crisis like the present a few of her citizens invariably have the heavy burden to bear, simply because they are public
spirited and willing. Since it was determined to raise the money demanded for immediate use in repairing the levees and strengthening them, by subscription, and the proposition has been circulated to obtain subscribers, we have taken the trouble to get a
list of fifty of the heaviest taxpayers in the city. The amount each man pays in taxes is placed in one column; the sum he subscribes
to the loan, expected to be returned by a special tax, in another. It will be seen that of the fifty heaviest taxpayers only six advance to the city more than the annual amount of their taxes, while twenty-seven--over one-half--have not subscribed one dollar. A good many taxpayers not included in the list of fifty have subscribed liberally; but a good many of the largest property holders have not yet subscribed anything. It may be that some of them are absent, and will yet respond. For their own credit we hope they will; in a time like the present, for those who are able, to hold back, is calculated to place the delinquents in a very unenviable position before their fellow citizens.
The majority in the late meeting finally determined upon the present plan to raise the money needed; it is one that involves some
risk of future payment, which should be shared generally by property holders. Those who decline will be adjudged worthy a place in a city black list.
The following is the list to which we have referred. Our readers can analyze it at pleasure:
. . .
City Tax. tion to Loan.
B. F. Hastings $3,048 $5,000
D. O. Mills & Co. 2,829 5,000
Sacramento Valley Railroad . . 2,781 000
H. E. Robinson 2,244 350
Kleinhans & Bro. 2,238 000
Boyd & Davis ....... 1,959 000
Cal. Steam Nav. Co. 1,883 -----
Hull & Lohman 1,719 500
L. B. Harris 1,644 2,000
Sacramento Gas Co. 1,427 5,000
Booth & Co. 1,405 1,000
E. P. Figg 1,278 500
R. H. McDonald 1,258 500
Stanford Bros. 1,225 1,000
Lindley, Wooster & Weaver. . 1,216 500
John Gillig 1,104 000
J. H. Carroll & Co. 1,039 500
Sneath & Arnold 1,034 250
Lanos & Co. 1,029 1,000
J. Carolan & Co 926 000
Lord, Holbrook & Co. 921 1,000
P. H. Burnett 879 000
A. K. Grim, for Samuel Norris 875 000
Rosanna H. Keenan 857 000
Lloyd Tevis 843 000
Ebner & Bros 837 100
Sacramento Valley Railroad . . 831 000
C. Crocker 827 500
Harmon & Co. 822 500
F. W. Fratt 813 000
E. M. Skaggs 786 000
S. Brannan, (Wetzlar, Agent) . 784 000
J. W. Winans 756 500
V. G. Fourgeaud 751 000
Milliken Bros.... 718 000
John McNulty 710 100
A. G. Tryon 708 000
Sacramento & Yolo Bridge Co. 702 000
C. J. Jansen 692 000
C. J. Hooker 677 000
A. C. Monson 672 000
S. P. Dewey.. 674 000
D. E. Callahan 667 000
John Rivett 665 000
James Anthony & Co. 660 1,000
Melvina Hoopes 640 000
H. M. Naglee 648 000
J. C. Jorghaus...... 647 000
P. Vertimer 644 000
C. H. Grimm 639 500
THE TELEGRAAH [sic].--To satisfy numerous inquiries as to the prospects of a speedy telegraphic communication with the rest of the country, we will state that Mr. Dent, the operator at this place is busily engaged in putting in order the line to Sacramento, which is in a much worse condition than was supposed. Between Eliza and Bear river there are miles of the line down, poles and wires prostrated by a strong current which appears to have swept over the ground. The line is all down to a point near Bear river, and it is probable that the connection will be made before our next issue.--Marysville Appeal, Dec. 15th. . . .
REGULAR.--The Mountain Democrat in closing an article on the flood, says:
But notwithstanding the violence and severity of the storm, the Overland Mail arrived with remarkable regularity, thus establishing the fact that the Placerville route can be safely and speedily traveled in the worst seasons.
DROWNED.--Jabez Atwood, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, was drowned at Marysville on Saturday. He was boating at the foot of B street with another man, when they were capsized, with the fatal result above recorded, . . .
THE BEEF MARKET.--The Marysville Appeal says the butchers there are quite uncertain as to the future state of the stock market, and adds:
But a short supply for beef is now on hand, and a movement of some sort must take place soon. No offers have been made by dealers as yet, but it is the impression that prices will advance as soon as any cattle come into market, as there must have been many hundreds of fat cattle drowned in the late floods, though it would seem, from all accounts, that the largest loss is among cattle of the poorer sort.
THE LEVEE AND STATE CAPITAL.--At a late meeting of citizens of San Francisco, Gregory Yale offered the following resolutions, which were passed :
Resolved, That in the sense of this meeting the next Legisature should take into consideration the necessity of adopting a system of levees to protect the State property at the Capital from damage or destruction by inundation from the American and Sacramento rivers, at the expense of the State.
Resolved, That in this day of peril to Sacramento we should not talk of adding to their calamities the removal of the State Capital to any other place. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
. . . .
The benefit at the Metropolitan Theater last night for the Sacramento sufferers, drew a very crowded house. . . .
[Lodge symbol]. I. O. O. F.--At a Regular Meeting of the General Relief Committee of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows held in this city this day, it was Resolved, That the thanks of said Committee and the Order in general be tendered Bro. P. G. M , H. M. HEUSTON, for the very generous offer of the use of his Furnished Brick Dwelllng, northeast corner of I and Seventh streets, for Brothers of the Order and their families now in distress. Infornation of cases of distress is respectfully solicited by said Committee.
JOHN TODD, Chairman. Sacramento,
Dec. 15, 1861. d16-6t
One of God's Noblemen,
Mr. Norris Sulllvan rescued my wife and child, and other helpless women and children, from a watery grave during the flood. In doing this he neglected HIS property, most of which was destroyed. I was absent from the city at that time, and have been unable to find him to acknowledge his heroic conduct. His name must be added to the list of noble men who saved human lives without charge.
dl6-lt* CHARLES R. SUMNER. . . .
[drawing of a cow] COWS LOST.
LOST--ON THE DAY OF
the Flood in Sacramento, TWO COWS one black and white, rope on her neck, and branded O on her right rump; the other red, with a white stripe on her back, and branded J B on her side. Whoever will return both or either of them to McDOWELL & CO., corner of Front and N streets, shall be suitably rewarded. d16-8t
[drawing of a horse] MARE FOUND--ON THE
9th of December, during the flood, a SORREL MARE, fifteen hands high, three years old, left feet white, white stripe on forehead, with brand on the right shoulder. The owner can get her at Toll's Stable by paying the expeses, d16-8t*
THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED
by the Citizens on Friday last will require a number of Laborers to work on the Levee at Rabel's Tannery and Thirty-first street.
Apply on the ground to the Superintendent. Payment in cash. C. H. SWIFT, Chairman.
C. W. LIGHTNER, Secretary dl6 . . .
FIRE.--A one story dwelling house, owned by William Hardy and occupied by Frank M. Chapman and family, on the north side of N street, between Seventh and Eighth, caught fire at half past eight o'clock last evening, it is said, from a large fire built for the purpose of drying clothing. The fire spread to the adjoining house on the east side, a two story house, owned and occupied by John F. Roberts. Part of the furniture in Roberts' house was saved, but Chapman's furniture and both the dwellings were destroyed.
Roberts' house was insured for $300, but was probably worth three times as much. He is a man about seventy-five years old, and will feel the loss severely, having but little to depend upon. He is the father of Capt. T. L. Roberts of the Washington Rifle Company, First Regiment California Volunteers.
The fire companies had a very hard time in getting to the fire through the flooded streets and over broken sidewalks. Engine No. 5 broke through the plank sidewalk on L street, and was pried out with great difficulty. Soon after it got mired and the firemen impressed a span of horses which dragged out the machine and took it to the fire in a hurry.
THE WEATHER.--ln consequence of the prevalence of fogs and clouds we have scarcely had a glimpse of the sun during the past week. There have been some indications of rain, which was of course to be dreaded in view of our muddy streets, high rivers, damp houses, etc. Yesterday a moderate northwest wind prevailed, giving the promise of clear weather. At about twelve o'clock M. the sun made a decided effort to take a peep at Camp Union through the curtain of floating clouds, and was very nearly successful.
In the evening, at about sunset, a golden gleam came through the gap of the Putah in the coast range, giving promise of light and warmth and prosperity, at an early day. Our sidewalks in many places, are becoming dry and quite passable. The glow of sunlight, a clear sky, falling rivers, liberal contributions to the protection fund, sound judgment on the part of our committees, and manly energy on the part of all our citizens: these are needed to meet the emergency of the day, and these combined will meet it successfully.
THE ROLL OF HONOR.--We have mentioned, from time to time, the names of those who were magnanimously and effectively engaged on Monday last in aiding those who were in need of aid on account of the destructive flood of that day. It is alike creditable to human nature that assistance was so generously given when required, and that those who received it are so desirous now to award the meed of praise to those from whom it came. We have been requested to say that Nathaniel Boice threw open his two story brick house in the northeastern portion of the city, and extended all the aid in his power to those who were in need. John McIsaacs, saloon keeper at Front and N streets, is said to have been very active with a boat throughout the day.
J. H. Warwick, member elect of the Assembly, and Charles Duret worked throughout the day and evening, removing from danger many who were perilously situated.
STAGE ARRANGEMENTS.--The stage office of this city has been removed from Second street to the What Cheer House, Front and K streets. Notice is given in another column that passengers are ticketed through from Sacramento to all parts of the State at the same rates as before the washing up of the railroad by the late flood. The cars at present come from Folsom to Brighton only. As the Railroad Company refuse to provide any means of transportation for passengers between that point and the city, the stage companies have put on a number of their coaches, established a ferry at Sutter's Fort, and send out and bring in passengers, without loss of time or additional expense. The traveling community will, therefore, suffer little or nothing by the injury done the railroad.
This arrangement went into effect on Wednesday morning last.
CONTEMPLATED SUITS FOR DAMAGES.--The subject of the liability of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company for the damage done to real and personal property in this city, is being pretty freely discussed among those who have suffered by the late flood. It is generally held--as the agents of the company stopped up the natural water course on R street, near Seventeenth, not only without any legal authority but in the face of the protest of the City Council, and thereby on Monday last dammed up the water until the city was deluged--that therefore the Company, as a company, and the agents individually are responsible for the injury done. It seems probable from present indications that several hundred suits will be commenced, and that our lawyers and Courts will be busy with the subject. . . .
THE RIVER.--The Sacramento had fallen at sunset last evening to twenty-one feet five inches above low water mark, having declined seven inches from its highest pomt--twenty-two feet attained on Friday evening. There is no reason to doubt that the river is going down, and that the levees will soon be in a condition in which they can be effectually repaired. The leak of the St. George drain at Fourth and I streets has been stopped, or nearly so, and the point on the Sacramento, below R street, seems likely to give no immediate trouble. . . .
NEITHER PROUD NOR PARTICULAR.--On the morning after the late inundation, a large hog was found in a well furnished residence in the eastern portion of the city, taking a warm and comfortable snooze in the best bed in the house. He was evidently neither proud nor particular as to where he slept.
ARRESTS.--The following arrests were made on Saturday:. . . John Doe, alias, by officer McIntosh, on a charge of petty larceny, in stealing a boat belonging to C. E. Wyman. . . .
MARYSVILLE.--Marysville Appeal, in noticing the relief meeting at San Francisco, says:
A monster meeting was to be held at San Francisco night before last, to take measures for the relief of sufferers by the flood at Sacramento and Marysville. San Francisco is always first in charitable deeds. We are happy to know that Marysville did not suffer beyond her own ability to afford relief.
[For the Union.]
THE CITY DEFENSES.
MESSRS. EDITORS:--Having spent most of the day in an examination of the condition of our levee, and in making some sort of an estimate of the cost of repairing it in such manner as to protect the city from immediate danger of another overflow, I propose to give the result of my observations to the public through the medium of the UNION.
Commencing my examination at the point where the east levee intersects M street, near Twenty-third, and following the levee eastward and northward to where it intersects the American river levee at a point near the junction of A and Thirty-first streets, I found the embankment broken through and washed away in many places.
But along this entire line the ground outside of the levee was high enough to enable laborers to procure all the earth necessary to repair the breaches.
There would be no difficulty, with an adequate force, in making that portion of the levee perfectly secure in one week's time, provided we have favorable weather.
I estimated, from merely walking over the ground--estimating it by my eye without stopping to measure it--that it would not take over ten thousand cubic yards of earth to repair it.
It would require some little ploughing, ditching, etc., to prepare the bed for receiving the new earth. But the cost of repairing all this part of the levee, could not well cost over five thousand dollars. Possibly, if the weather should be fair, it might fall considerably short of that sum.
From the intersection of the two levees, near the crossing of A and Thirty-first streets, the American river levee requires raising and strengthening for about two hundred yards.
This work could be done without difficulty and at a trifling cost--say not to exceed $500. Then at the lower extremity of this repaired levee it would be necessary to commence an entirely new piece of levee, gradually diverging from the old one, and extending inland to such a distance as to be entirely free from all danger of being undermined and carried away by the river, which at this point has been encroaching on the land.
After getting past this point of danger the new levee could be gradually turned back so as to connect with the old levee below. This is the point at Rabel's tannery, about which we have heard so much.
This levee would require about five cubic yards of earth per lineal foot. In my opinion it would not require more than eight hundred feet of new levee. Indeed, I would consider it safe with six hundred feet, if some work was done to protect the bank of the river, of which I will presently speak. But, putting it at eight hundred feet, it cannot reasonably cost over $2,000
The soil is dry and sandy, and may be removed with remarkable facility. From the last mentioned point down the American river to I street, the necessary repairs would be very slight indeed. Fifty or one hundred dollars' worth of labor on all this part of the levee would render it perfectly secure.
Coming down I street, of course the levee would be perfectly secure but for that wonderful piece of engineering connected with the St. George Hotel, alike indicative of the sagacity of its projector, and of the wisdom of the city fathers who sanctioned it.
But seriously, there is mere [more?] danger from that place than is generally apprehended. A straight piece of timber leading through an embankment, which is intended to hold water is always dangerous. The water is apt to follow along the underside of such a piece of timber, and if the smallest hole is formed there, the timber above makes a kind of arch to sustain the superincumbent earth, while the orifice is enlarging by the action of the water.
This place should be narrowly watched, and the first time the water falls sufficiently the street should be reopened, the trough taken out and the ditch refilled, ramming the earth well as it is replaced.
I will now return to the place at Rabel's tannery. The making of eight hundred feet of new levee at that place would not be sufficient unless some steps were taken to prevent the cutting away of the banks.
To protect the bank is neither so difficult nor so costly as is generally supposed. In this place it would probably require one hundred piles to be driven. I am told that Mr. Rightmire will furnish them at the spot, fifty feet in length, for fifteen dollars each, and that it will only cost ten dollars each for driving. This will make, for piling, $2,500.
When the piles are driven, the space between them and the banks should be filled up with willow brush, and broken brick, gravel, bags of sand, and whatever heavy material can be most conveniently obtained, should be thrown on the brush to keep it at the bottom. If this is done the bank will never wash behind the piles
The brush is cheaper than planking, can be obtained at or near the spot, and is far more safe, for this reason: The planking is frequently undermined, and taken off by the action of the current, whilst the piles are still left standing. Brush can never wash out whilst the piles remain. If it is undermined it simply sinks down and fills up the hole beneath, instead of floating off. When a bank is thus protected, the only question that need be asked is, will the piling stand? While the piling stands there is no question but that the brush will stay behind it and protect the bank if properly weighted down.
The interstices of the brush would soon fill up with the sediment of the still water that it would create, and thus would be formed a solid embankment behind the piles, which would materially assist them in sustaining the action of the current, and tend greatly to increase their stability.
In this connection, I am informed that there will not probably be found any gravel or hard substance to prevent the driving of fifty foot piles to such a depth that the tops will be even with high water mark.
This opinion is founded on the fact that parties who have bored wells in that vicinity have not met with gravel or bowlders until attaining a depth of over fifty feet. When other piles were driven there they were driven with great care, but they were only thirty feet long. I would be afraid that thirty foot piles would not stand, but would be torn out by the action of the current. With fifty foot piles there could be no danger.
Above and below this point the banks are protected by willow brush. A point on the opposite side of the river, which threw the current across, has been washed away, and the current is not now cutting at Rabel's tannery. The water is still there now, bnt it would not be safe to trust it in another rise without protection. The danger, however, is greatly diminished.
The cost of filling in the brush I am unable to estimate.
The labor of the chain gang could be well employed in cutting the brush, and the additional cost of filling it in could not well exceed $2,000, and might not cost even $500.
To recapitulate, the cost of repairing the levee from the crossing of M street up to the American river, and down the American to the foot of I street, so as to make it perfectly safe and reliable, ought not to exceed $12,000. or $13,000, and the work may be done without difficulty in the present stage of the water.
Commencing at the crossing of M street, and following the levee southward and westward to the foot of R street, there are numerous breaches, and so far as I was able to examine them, the water was too near on a level with the surface of the ground to readily obtain the material for repairs in the vicinity of the breaches. The only way to repair this portion of the levee (unless the water should fall considerably) is to get the Railroad Company to repair their track by building trestle work across the slough which runs between the east levee and Poverty Ridge, so as to connect the Ridge with the R street levee, and striking the latter at about the intersection of 18th street:
By this means the cars could bring down dirt from the ridge, and construct their track before them to the foot of R street. Another set of cars could be switched off the track at the junction of the railroad and the levee, and run back up the levee, making repairs before them until a point is reached where the repairs can be made from the earth adjacent to the breaches. What this would cost I have not been able to learn. But certainly there are ample means in the hands of the Committees to accomplish it. For the present I will conclude here, but will, in another article, present some further views on this subject.
H. O. BEATTY.
Saturday Evening, Dec. 14th. .
EDITORS UNION: Would it not be practicable for Sacramento to buy the right of way along the line of the eastern levee of the city--say
50 or 100 feet, or any width necessary, and dig a canal entirely across from the American river to the Sacramento river, below the R street levee, or as far down as necessary, using the dirt taken from the canal in building the levee.
The canal, of course, would carry but a small amount of water, but every little helps, and the dirt taken therefrom would be all sufficient to protect your city from the flood.
The top dirt or soil should be placed on the outside of the levee, and at the proper season sowed with alfalfa, blue grass or red clover.
Alfalfa, I think preferable, as it is next to impossible to kill it when once started; and as the roots run very deep and are tough and fibrous, would in two years, at furthest, make your levee impregnable.
These suggestions have probably been made hundreds of times, and probably others much more valuable; but as I have noticed no such, I give them to you for what they are worth, and expect you to treat them as you see fit.
Yours, truly, etc., JNO. PATTISON.
Nevada, Dec 12, 1861.
REPORT ON THE SAFETY OF THE CITY.
As many of our citizens are anxious to learn what progress the Committee appointed by them on Friday, December 13th, have made by providing for the safety of the city, the following, from responsible authority, will give them the necessary information :
In a matter of such importance, although the necessity of action is immediate, it is equally important that the whole of the danger should be thoroughly examined before coming to a conclusion. It required the whole of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to view the different breaches in the levees, inquire carefully into the manner in which the city was overflowed--not only recently, but on former occasions--and to consult as to the best method of providing against the recurrence of such a calamity.
The breach below the Half Way House, in the Sacramento, was found to be of such magnitude as to preclude all hope of repairing it, the water pouring in with great velocity fully fifteen feet deep and sixty feet wide, the water on the side from which the work would have to be done varying from five to ten feet in depth; no material at hand wherewith to stop it, and the levee on either side low and precarious. The extent of damage to be done the city by it could be easily calculated by the eye, viz: the backing up of the water through the opening in the R street levee to the hight of a few inches. This has shown itself to be small.
The Committee, therefore, decided not to spend any of the fund in attempting to close it at present, but wait until the Sacramento subsided a few feet, when repairs will be practicable, and will then be done.
Much alarm was felt by many about the threatened breach below the R street levee and the "Hardenbergh" sewer, at the corner of I and Fourth streets. The Committee considered the former place perfectly safe for the present, and expended some labor on the latter, and partially succeeded in stopping the flow of water through it. They are of the opinion that ne [no?] real danger threatens the levee at that point, although the water still flowing through it is a source of inconvenience to the property holders in that immediate vicinity.
The Committee have concluded to proceed at once to erect a counter levee at Rabel's Tannery, inclosing the entire portion threatened by the wearing away of the bank of the American. But few of our citizens are aware of the danger which existed at that point, it was owing to the great exertions of the few men residing in the reighborhood, and the providential bursting of the embankment above Smith's Garden, relieving the strain on the weak levee, that the city was saved a night of horrors. Had it broken at that place (the tannery) the water must have flown with a depth of six feet and a front of several hundred yards, the entire diagonal length of the city, and would have scarcely subsided at the present time.
Deeming this the weakest point in the city defenses, and the construction of a levee there the speediest and cheapest method of securing it, the Committee will proceed to-day to its erection. Men and tools will be sent out at once, and the work will be done under their personal supervision.
The breaches in the east levee, commencing at Thirty-first and B streets, following its line until it intersects the R street embankment will be repaired at the same time, beginning at the former point, where comparatively dry earth can be obtained to fill them, as it would be useless to repair them with new earth alone. The slope facing the east, or waterside, will be revetted with gunny sacks. Where that material is used in filling the openings, in order that it may not be thought "patched work," an additional width and hight will be given the section at these points.
At the present time it would be folly to attempt reconstructing the embankment across the slough above Smith's Garden, the water still running through it, and no dry material at hand for use. To construct an entire new levee of new earth, unless faced on one side with materials which would resist a current as well as a pressure, would be a useless expenditure. It can only be erected permanently during the Summer months and be of use, after having stood some time, having a chance to settle. After the expense of the first mentioned work is paid for, there ought to be still a large fund on hand which can be appropriated for that use, A large portion of the city will be left outside, which, if left without benefit by the levee, ought not to be taxed to refund the present subscription.
The Committee aim to do the greatest amount of benefit to the greatest amount of property, and a knowledge of these facts by those outside of the levee ought to satisfy them,
The Committee have had no conference with the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company as to their future plans in restoring the R street embankment and trestle work over the slough, but have appointed a Sub-committee to ascertain their views in the matter.
RAILROAD NORTH OF THE CITY.
EDITORS UNION: While the city fathers of Sacramento are assuming great responsibilities in this great crisis of your history--if not existence--allow me to ask them, through you, why they do not take the responsibility of stopping the reconstruction of the railroad embankment into the city where it has existed?
Do they want the city submerged again? It will surely be so. I would as soon have the city and State Capitol built in the bottom of a lake temporarily dried up. Let them say to the Railroad company-- "you may build your track along the bank of the American river, and come in on the north side of the city."
It would be no injury to the railroad, but it would be a great benefit and protection to the city. The embankment could be built of solid material brought down from the foot hills that no flood would wash away. Should a flood ever threaten its overflow large trains of earth could then be run directly to the dangerous point and dumped in, and thus forever protect the city. The cost will be but trifling compared with your present loss.
I have no doubt but the Legislature would make an appropriation to aid such an enterprise as an effectual protection to the State capital. On the drainage question I would say let large gates be constructed in the levee below the city, with large sewers leading from the lowest portions of the city to those gates--after the style of lock gates to a canal--to drain off the water, should any ever again flow into the city.
By constructing several such gates, and by removing the entire present railroad embankment to fill up the lower portions of the city, and then constructing a new, large and solid railroad embankment around the north side of the city along the river, you will accomplish a permanent protection to your city; otherwise I fear that the people of the State will demand a removal of the capital to some other locality.
These suggestions are respectfully submitted, with all due deference to the wisdom of those who are more intimately and deeply interested in this matter, for their consideration.
Nevada, Dec. 14, 1861.
A PLAN TO PUT J AND K STREETS IN ORDER.
EDITORS UNION: The Levee Committee will, I am informed, have men at work tomorrow (Monday) repairing the levee on its northern and eastern line, so that in a few days we will be protected from any ordinary rise of water from the American river. It is of vital importance to our city that at least the business portion of it be put in order before the meeting of the Legislature; and I suggest the following plan: Let a Committee of business men from J and K and the intervening cross streets, collect a fund (two or three dollars from each business house will do), for the purpose of clearing the mud from the graveled and planked streets.
Let them hire a dozen teams, and men sufficient to haul the dirt into the low cross streets; keep open the present temporary drains, and make others where needed, and in two weeks those streets will be in better order than they have been for the past two winters. Let the Levee Committee spend a few hundred dollars in reconstructing the crossings within the limits mentioned, the citizens go to work promptly and reconstruct their sidewalks, and by the first of January we can present a better appearance to "the assembled wisdom" than we have done for years. Who of our energetic business men will set the ball in motion? J. H. N.
DAMAGE TO MINING CLAIMS.--On Sunday night December 8th, in Nevada, considerable damage was done in the mining claim of Rogers, on American Hill, by the bank caving in and breaking up the iron pipes. The damage was about $400. The cave was occasioned by the heavy rains--the water soaking in the cracks and loosening the earth.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3345, 17 December 1861 p. 1
. . .
MINING ABOUT COLUMBIA.--The Tuolumne Courier of December 7th, says :
The late storms have overflowed the most of the mines with water, and but little mining has been done in this section for nearly a month, * * * In the early part of this week Manly & Co. took out of their claim, on Knapp's ranch, a nugget weighing forty two ounces, nearly pure gold, which was sold to Daegener for over $700. They also washed up forty-aeven ounces of gold dust ; the whole valued at about $1,500.
THE SAN JOAQUIN.--The Stockton lndependent of December 14th says:
We are informed by Captain Bruns, who arrived in this city last evening frem the mouth of the San Joaquin river, that an immense quantity of drift wood, stumps of trees, and timber, are floating out under a heavy force from the water, and every appearance at the month of the river indicates a rapid rise above. . . .
THE FLOOD AT DOUGLAS CITY.--The Gazette published at Douglas City, Trinity county, saying, under date of December 4th:
From this point down to the North Fork, everything is reported as swept away, including the bridges at North Fork, McGilvery's, Sturdivant's, and the new one built this past summer [?] at Louis Raab's. Every wheel and flume from Steiner's Flat down to North Fork is gone. Every mining claim along the river has suffered to a greater or less degree in the loss of sluice boxes, etc., and taken all together, the late flood has destroyed fully three times the amount of property of any previous one. Since the above was put in type, we have heard that the new flume of McCampbell and Given, which crosses the river at Soldier's Bar, and the bridge at Sturdivant's are safe. , , ,
GOOD PAY.--Walker & Co. took out of their claim on the Klamath river, near the mouth of Humbug, Siskiyou county, in four days, with four men engaged, the amount of twenty-two and a haif ounces. The late freshet has probably filled their claim at present. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The [?] benevolent ladies of San Francisco are making clothing, on an extensive scale, for the Sacramento sufferers by the flood. Collections were taken up in the churches of that city on Sunday for the same object. . . .
The Citizens' Committee broke ground yesterday upon the work near Rabel's Tannery, on the American. A levee, thirty feet wide at the base, [?] will be constructed inside of the weak point.
The Supervisors, at their meeting yesterday, appointed a Committee to confer with the Sacramento Railroad Directors upon the subject of removing their track to the north side of the city.
The laborers upon the new Capitol building resumed work yesterday.
CITIZENS' COLLECTIONS.--The aggregate amount of money collected from citizens up to last evening, for the protection of the city, was about $46,000 [?]. Of the fifty heaviest tax-payers whose names were published yesterday in the Union, only about three or four have come forward, in addition to those who had subscribed previously. To-morrow we shall republish the list, with the subscriptious of those who shall have put down their names up to that time.
We trust there will be no lukewarmness in this matter, and that these who have the largest interests to protect will not stand back, while men of more humble means are coming forward with commendable liberality, and setting so noble an example.
In this important crisis of our city's fate it is to be hoped that not only the heavy taxpayers will do their duty in this matter, but that others will give according to their means, so that our city may be amply protected and placed on a permanent basis of prosperity. Now is truly [?] the accepted time to give, and now is the day of our temporal salvation.
RELIEF IN STOCKTON.--The San Joaquin Republican of December 15th makes mention of a meeting held in that city, on the day previous, for the relief of citizens of Sacramento. J. M. Conley was authorized to take charge of all items [?] and articles contributed for the relief of the sufferers. and deliver them to the Howard
Benevolent Society of Sacramento. Rev. Mr. King [?] spoke of the great suffering and destitution [?] among those of the people of Sacramento, who have been driven from their homes by the flood and urged contributions of clothing, bedding and provisions. On motion of Sperry, all articles contributed were requested to be left at the store of S. T. Nye, for shipment, and Messrs. Barnes [?] and Pollard were requested to gather the articles and see to their shipment. Over one thousand dollars were collected by December 15th. [?]
THE FLOOD IN SHASTA.--A correspondent of the UNION, writing from Shasta, December 15th, [?] gives the following particulars of the late flood in the vicinity of Shasta:
During.the past week we have experienced the severest storm and flood ever known by white men since California was settled. It commenced snowing and raining on Thursday evening, December 5th, and continued incessantly till [?] Monday evening; during which time, Trinity river rose ten feet higher than was ever known by civilized man. It swept away every bridge from Scott mountain to the month of the river. All the houses and stores situated on the banks and bars of the river were carried down the stream. Bell's bridge on Clear creek, was damaged, end Judge Landrum's bridge on the same stream, at Briggsville, was carried down to the Sacramento. Thousands of head of stock were drowned in this county. . . .
STAGE ROADS NORTH.--ln speaking of the travel from Shasta to Yreka, the Courier says:
The roads are in the worst condition. Immense slides of rock, trees and earth at some points block it up, and in others the road itself has [?[ slid away. There will be no more staging to Yreka for a long time. The mail will be carried through on mules.
FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THE CITY.
Some of our cotemporaries in San Francisco and elsewhere appear to misapprehend the position of Sacramento toward her public creditors. They jump to the conclusion that she proposes to repudiate her public debt, principal and interest. No such proposition has been submitted to the public, so far as we are advised. The Committee appointed by a mass meeting of citizens to report a plan of action, submitted a report, which was published; it contained no recommendation to repudiate, but in view of the extraordinary circumstances by which the people of the city were surrounded, the Committee did announce that the Sinking and Interest Fund was the only source from which money could be obtained to meet the public exigencies, and recommended that indemnifying bonds should be executed to the Auditor and Treasurer for their protection, provided they surrendered the money when ordered by the Board of Supervisors.
The action of this body in passing an ordinance to transfer the interest money to a "Protection Fund" was passed in accordance with a recommendation included in the report of the Committee, which was adopted by a mass meeting almost unanimously. The Board of Supervisors is, therefore, unjustly censured by some of our cotemporaries for the passage of that ordinance. It was subsequently found that no legal bond could be made to protect the Auditor and Treasurer from responsibility for performing an act admitted to be illegal, and the plan to raise money by subscription to a loan, to be returned by special tax, was revived.
The original idea was not repudiation--for that is a refusal to pay when able--but suspension for the time, and a forced loan from the Sinking and Interest Fund until the city could be placed in condition to again resume payment This has been the ground we have occupied since the city was overtaken by the late catastrophe. In our judgment the destruction of property was so great, the means of the people of the city so crippled, that they would be justified in the face of Heaven and earth in saying to their public creditors, "We are unable now to pay the interest of our public debt, and we ask an extension until we can secure Sacramento from floods, and thus place ourselves in a condition to resume paying our interest.
It is necessary for us to apply money we intended to pay interest with, to secure our existence as a community."
Had the creditors of our city been present, they would have said to each other, "It is for our interest to accede to this proposition--for unless we consent to let the interest run for a year or two the people of Sacramento will never be able to pay us one dollar of either principal or interest. But if we give them time--permit them to use the money now on hand to strengthen and enlarge their levees and so secure the city as to fix in the public mind full confidence in the safety of property, the people will finally be able,to pay their indebtedness." This would have been the reasoning of business men in their private transactions.
Do not the merchants of San Francisco adopt this process of reasoning as to their customers and creditors in Sacramento, and do they not act upon it? Do they not willingly and cheerfully extend to those who have suffered, further time? The man who would force a debtor to the extent of suing out attachments against him would be pronounced a wretch. So with holders of mortgages. How many hundred are there in this city, who, if they have not already done so, will say to their creditors, "We do not expect those who have suffered by this fearful visitation to pay interest until they can place themselves in a position to do so without inconvenience." When individuals or large firms or corporate companies are deprived of the means of paying their debts by the destruction of their means by fire or flood, they announce the fact to their creditors that "they are unable to pay unless the time of payment is extended," and the business world pronounces the act not only honorable but commendable; forty-nine times in fifty their creditors would grant the extension asked.
Why then should not the same policy be adopted by the creditors of the city for their own protection? Sacramento, as a city, has met with a disaster which swept from existence nearly or quite one quarter of the assessed value of the property of her citizens.
In view of this destructive calamity, she proposed to say to her creditors, that her people were unable to pay the interest on their public debt, and ask for an extension of time. In the presence of the devastation which surrounds her people is it dishonorable for them to acknowledge their inability to pay now, and to apply means provided to pay interest to preserving the existence of their city? In our opinion it is not, and, if our city creditors were here, they would take the same view of the case. They would see that no other course could be pursued to ultimately enable the people of Sacramento to pay their indebtedness. But as they were not here, and could not be consulted, we hold that the people were justified in making the effort to obtain the money in the Interest Fund--that they would be justified still in obtaining it in order to protect themselves and avert a much greater loss to their public creditors.
We reiterate the conviction, which has been fairly driven into our mind, that the only sure remedy against ultimate repudiation is to appropriate the money in that fund to raising and strengthening the defenses of the city against high water. The fund now being raised, though liberal, will prove insufficient for that purpose. There is more which should be done than most people are aware.
Persons at a distance may moralize and denounce "repudiation," but unless they come here, and stand among the ruin produced by this unprecedented flood, they are not at the right standpoint for forming an unbiased and impartial judgment.
Self protection is recognized as the first law of nature in all communities; it is this law which we proposed to apply to Sacramento. She must be protected before she can do full justice to her creditors. It is her highest duty to protect herself first, her creditors second, and when she accomplishes the first, she does protect her creditors.
This we have advocated the morning after the inundation. In an article published Tuesday morning, the UNION said :
To repudiate an honest debt is disgraceful, because it is a refusal to pay when able but when placed in a position by misfortunes which no human wisdom could have averted, where an individual or a corporation is usable to pay honest debts, it is fair and honorable to face creditors and the world with an avowal of the fact. This is precisely the position of Sacramento, and it is honorable on her part to admit her total inability now to pay her public debt, principal, or interest, and to avow her determination to do so as soon as she is in a condition to discharge those obligations. No other course is left her, and the citizens will be forced to take the responsibility.
The above is copied to show that it was not repudiation, but suspension for a time which we urged as the policy forced upon the people
by an imperious necessity, and as the only one likely to preserve the city as well as her creditors.
In an article published the succeeding day the subject was continued, and the opinion expressed that if, under the circumstances, the money in the treasury was paid to bondholders on the first of January next, it would be the last they would receive of either principal or interest This may prove to be a mistaken opinion, but we have seen nothing yet to justify a change. We copy from an editorial in Thursday's UNION:
The people, by the action of the elements, are placed in a position where it is utterly out of their power to pay, for the present, their public debt, principal or interest, and we insist that it is honorable for them to frankly acknowledge the fact. As to the money in the Interest Fund, it is no more sacred than the promise made in the bonds. The time has arrived for speaking out plainly. If the interest is paid the first of January, and the city left in its present position, there will never be another dollar of principal or interest paid to the public creditors.
The city will, from necessity fail to pay next year, and the odium will be ten times greater than now, because we have before us the best justification for suspending payment, and appropriating money intended for creditors for the salvation of Sacramento. When her safety is secured, we shall then be in a position to talk about resuming payment.
There is a considerable diversity of opinion as to what plan should be adopted in the way of repairing and building levees for the protection of the city. Some are for repairing the Thirty-first street, and R street levees, and leaving the American river slough open, so that when the river rises it will divide and a part of it pass by the Fort, back of the city, and be discharged into the tule south of Sutterville. Another class advocate the repairing the levee along the American to the high land east of Smith's Garden--building it at least five feet higher than the old one.
Against the plan of repairing the Thirty-first and R street levees, and leaving the American to discharge a portion of its water past the city, it is urged that the work necessary could not be performed for some time, in consequence of the condition of the soil and the extent of the breaks. Another objection predicated upon the fact that the system of levees to reclaim the land below Sutterville, contemplated by the Swamp Land Commissioners, a contract for which was to be let in a few days, embraced a levee from the Sacramento river to the high land south of Sutterville. Such a levee would, of course, dam up the water and throw it back upon the city; but if the slough is left open east of Smith's, this plan is impracticable.
The plan of the engineer was predicated on the assumption that the city levees were safe and sure to keep the water of the American within its bank. But the recent flood has demonstrated that levees, strong enough to resist the floods of the American river, must be built from the city limits to the high ground east of Smith's, to protect the farmers between here and Georgiana slough.
These facts may cause the surveyor of the district below the Sutter grant to change his plan, so as to include a portion or all the work on the American east of Thirty-first street.
It is the opinion, too, of men of sound judgment, that the most practicable, as well as the surest plan of defending the city, is to build a broad and high levee on the American, from the high land east of Smith's down to I street. In 1851 the floods broke through the levee at a slough this side of the Tivoli House, and also at the slough east of Smith's. The City Engineer of 1852 recommended that a new levee be built from Thirty-first street, on the American, to the high land in a southeast direction, leaving the old levee, built in 1850, unrepaired at the sloughs. The first flood carried away the new levee, and the City Council was forced to fall back on the old line of levee on the bank of the river.
They filled the sloughs at the Tivoli House, and at the high land, in mid Winter, so thoroughly that they stood for nine years without ever having a dollar's worth of work expended on them. The levee did not break now, the water ran over it and finally cut it down. Had it been two feet higher it would have stood firm. If built new, broad, and five feet higher than the old one, we do not see why it should not stand for a half century.
That kind of a levee would certainly protect the city from the water of the American. A prominent citizen and heavy taxpayer has handed us a memorandum of his views on the system to be adopted, which we give for the benefit of whom it may concern. Whatever is done should be entered upon immediately. The views to which we refer are as follows:
Commence at the high ground above Smith's Garden, and repair the break at the slough. Make the levee from there down to I street an average of from five feet at the upper end to two feet where it intersects I street, higher than it now is, and proportionately stronger at the base and top. Continue the same, with either the additional elevation of two feet, or less, if thought advisable, to Sutterville; there unite with the levee to be built by the Swamp Land Commissioners. Let the levees be built of a width sufficient to make a carriage way on the top of them the entire distance.
It is believed by many that this work can be accomplished so as to make city perfectly safe from any overflow, at the same that the reconstruction of the system of cross levees would cost, and that most of the work could be done to greater advantage as the earth with which to do it, can be had in a much dryer state, and can be procured for building the inner or cross levees, most of the earth for building the latter being wet and difficult to obtain.
The advantages of protection to property by this plan is apparent; we not only protect all the city property, but also protect some sixty thousand acres of valuable land, tributary to the city, and which, as long as the water is allowed to flow through Sutter slough, is rendered almost valueless, destroying thousands of fruit trees and vines which could be saved. Another argument in favor of this plan is, that we obtain a level of the back water at the same level as the mouth of the slough below here, which would be somewhere about Sutterviile, thus giving an opportunity of thoroughly and effectually draining the city. An argument against this is that we are building too much levee--that we must confine ourselves to a small space, and make that safe. Our experience shows that we have had no difficulty with any of the outside levees, except high up on the American river.
That must be protected and made safe. There is no difficulty in making a safe levee to protect us from the Sacramento. Let all the money be spent on one main outside levee, and the city can be thoroughly protected and drained without raising the present grade of the streets. Even the upper portion of the levee, along the American river, has to be raised ten feet higher than it is.
The soil there is convenient, the banks are high, and there is our only danger.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Death of J. A.. Monroe--Insolvency--Relief Movements--News from the South--Troops for Humboldt and the South--New Postmasters--Prize Fight--Alleged Case of Brutality. . . .
Platt's Hall, the chess room of the Mercantile Library and Odd Fellows Lodge room have been taken possession of by ladies engaged in making up clothing for Sacramento. One hundred and thirty ladies were at work to-day, employing a large number of sewing machines. A quantity of clothing went up to-night. The Sub-committee are still raising funds. The Odd Fellows' Lodges will contribute handsomely. The sums collected in the churches yesterday have not been ascertained. . . .
THE WORK BEGUN.--The Committee of Safety, C. H. Swift, L. B. Harris, E. P. Figg, C. W. Lightner and Newton Booth, appointed by a meeting of citizens a few days since, commenced work yesterday afternoon at Rabel's tannery. They have decided to build a new levee around the weak spot at the tannery. It will commence east of the tannery, and run about five hnndred feet in a direction slightly south of west, diverging from the present levee some five or six rods. It will then run in a northwesterly direction about three hundred feet, to the old levee.
It will be thirty feet wide at the base, ten feet at the top, and about five feet high. It runs through the lands of Rabel, Justin Gates and Hopping. The first and last named grant their land without compensation. Dr. Gates presents no objection to the use of his land, but thinks that, as a small tract cost him about $1,500, and as the levee divides it, leaving but little which can be used, he will, at some future time, ask that the matter of compensation shall be left to three arbitrators to settle.
Some fifteen or twenty men were employed during the afternoon. Four or five spans of horses were also employed with scrapers, drawing up the earth for the embankment. Of this number, a span of blacks and another of iron grays belonging to D. E. Callahan, and a span of grays belonging to L. B. Harris, were doing excellent service.
They all have been more accustomed to the carriage than to labor of this character. They work, however, with sprightliness and energy, as though they believe that labor is honorable, and that the city can be saved by "pitching in" with a will. They are furnished by their owners, for the service, free of charge. One section of this work is under the immediate control of W. Turton, and another of C. Farley, and the whole under the supervision of W. F. Knox.
There will be a larger number of men employed to-day. The Committee contemplate cutting brush on the opposite side of the river for the purpose of strengthening the levee. It was rumored yesterday that S. Norris, the owner, had threatened to get out an injunction to prevent
such action if attempted. This report must certainly be false, for we don't believe there is a man in the State, or a lawyer in the city, mean enough to take such a step under such circumstances. The brush is utterly worthless for any other purpose. The Committee will, of course, confiscate the brush,
CORONER'S INQUEST.--Coroner Reeves held an inquest yesterday afternoon at Patterson's, in Brighton township, over the body of an unknown Chinaman. Cicero Card, W. Hornback, A. A. Ellis, Aaron Piles, Moses Pingrey, and F. A. Judd were impanneled as Jurors. The only witness examined was E. G. Carpenter, who testified as follows : "Abont 10 o'clock A.M. yesterday I was.searching on the flat near this place for drift, etc , and I discovered the deceased, now before the Jury. I do not know the deceased, nor by what means he came to his death, though I am of the opinion that he was drowned.
I found on examination that the jaw bone was broken and scalp was all torn from the top of the head, which appears to have been done by drifting through the bushes and timbers. The deceased had no clothing on or any valuables about his person when I found him. I think he had been dead about six or eight days." The Jury returned the following verdict: "We, the Jury summoned to ascertain the cause of the death of the deceased, now, before us, do find that he is a Chinaman, aged abont twenty-five years, and his hight is about five feet six inches, and that the name of the deceased and cause of his death is to us unknown, although we are of the opinion that he was drowned."
ADDITIONAL NAMES.--Several additional parties have been mentioned to us as entitled to special reference for their energetic and disinterested conduct on Monday last in rescuing the unfortunate from the flood. Stephen Butler, a drayman of the city, manned a boat at an early hour, and made good use of it throughout the day. W. Keefer, a young man living beyond the fort, on J street, jumped on a horse and rode several miles to the river, and tying a boat to the horse's tail, in the absence of harness, brought it in quick time to the district flooded, and rescued more than a dozen persons with it.
T. K. Stewart, near Rabel's tannery, at an early hour took off on a wagon from near the fort several persons who had no other means of escape. He afterward, with J. W. Dexter, manned a boat, and rescued a number of others. George Young, of the firm of Pike & Young, Fourth and L streets, and Samuel Ellison, of the schooner San Pablo, are spoken of in terms of gratitude for their generous services.
POLICE COURT.--The only business before the Police Court yesterday, was the trial of E. P. Veach for pety [sic] larceny of a boat built of rough boards, and worth from three to ten dollars. A German, who spoke as good English as he could conveniently on short notice, related how he built the boat the day after the flood and stood it up against his house to be ready for use next morning; how during the night he heard somebody run off with it; and how, after several days search, he fonnd it in possession of the defendant, who said he purchased it of a small boy. Justice Gilmer was personally cognizant of the general good character of defendant, who stated that he found the craft water-logged (jetsam and flotsam) in the street, and took possession thereof to subserve his locomotion. The Court decided that no larceny had been committed, under the circumstances, but awarded the boat to its builder.
WATER FROM THE PLAINS.--At an early hour on Monday morning of last week, W. H. Beatty, who lives in the eastern portion of the city, came in on horseback and asked the President of the Board of Supervisors to order the railroad to be cut through, as the water was damming up rapidly and would flood the city unless let through the levees. The President, with characteristic energy "didn't do it;" said a flood was impossible, and that the water was nothing but the water from the plains which had fallen the day before. It is interesting to our citizens at this stage of the affair to know that it was nothing but "water from the plains." . . . .
ARRESTED.--B. Cohn was arrested yesterday by Constable Cartter, for assault and battery on Henry Triechler, of the Mechanics' Exchange, on I street. Triechler and others were engaged on Sunday evening in digging a trench across I street, at the alley between Front and Second streets, to drive the water off. Cohn and others objected, and a quarrel ensued, in which Cohn siezed [sic] Triechler's shovel and struck him on the head with it, inflicting an ugly wound. The details of the case will probably be brought out to-day.
STEALING LUMBER.--A great deal of complaint is made on account of the larceny of sidewalks, fencing, etc., in the flooded district. A day or two since a section of sidewalk in front of the Blue Wing, at Fifth and M streets, was towed off from in front of the building, after the boatman had been forbidden to take it. Such men should be taught that larceny is the same in the eye of the law whether committed on the flooded or unflooded portions of the city.
BEING REMOVED.--Many of the dead bodies of drowned cattle, which were lying around in various parts of the city have, within the past two days, been drawn off by ox teams and thrown into the river. There are many yet remaining which should be similarly treated.
REPORTED MISSING. An elderly lady, named Huff, who resided near Sixth and O streets, is said to be missing since Monday last. It is feared that she may have been drowned.
AT WORK AGAIN.--The work on the State Capitol was resumed yesterday, having been suspended by the late flood.
STILL FALLING.--The Sacramento river is still falling, having declined about four inches yesterday.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
Monday, Dec. 16, 1861.
The Board met at two o'clock P.M. President SHATTUCK in the chair, and all the members present except Supervisor Hall. . . .
Samuel Norris sent in a petition, stating that he is the owner of Rancho del Paso, on the north side of the American river; that the recent flood has carried off a portion of Lisle's bridge, cutting him off from access to the city; that being the owner of the land he is entitled to all the ferry rights, etc.; is well acquainted with the ferry business, and has the boats and other property necessary; that public convenience requires the immediate establishment of a ferry there; that there has not been time since the flood to give the requisite notices, and that he asks to be granted a license immediately to run a ferry across from Twentieth street.
E. B. CROCKER said, as there was now no means of crossing, it was a case of public necessity, calling for the action of the Board without delay.
Supervisor GRANGER said he understood a ferry had already been established, communicating with the remaining portion of Lisle's bridge. He moved that the petition be referred to the Committee on Roads, Bridges and Ferries. Carried, and the Committee requested to report on Wednesday.
Supervlsor HITE said as a member of the Committee on Roads, Bridges and Ferries, he would report that the two bridges on J and K streets, to the east part of the city, had been taken away, and a ferry established there by some party, who was charging very high prices. He thought the man should be called upon for his license and stopped, or a reasonable scale of prices established for him. His prices were twenty-five cents for a single horse, fifty cents for a single team, and one dollar for a four horse team, and he had all the business he could do--crossing teams very rapidly.
He thought that was rather heavy on the public. No bridge could be built there just at present, but he thought a bridge could be built there very soon by making it a toll bridge, and he was going to offer a resolution on the subject.
Supervisor WOODS said two or three persons were going to run opposition to the ferryman, and they would soon bring the toll down.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he hoped there would be no toll bridge; better let the matter run a little, as it could not last long.
The PRESIDENT said the Citizens' Committee had raised about $50,000 to build levees, bridges, and such other work as might be necessary, and he thought they would attend to this matter.
Supervisor HITE thought that money could be laid out to better advantage elsewhere, and they could get this bridge built by authorizing some one to build it and take tolls.
Supervisor GRANGER suggested that the Committee establish a scale of prices for the ferry.
Supervisor WOODS said to do that it would be necessary to grant a license for a year. He thought the Board could do nothing better at present than let them work out their own salvation.
Supervisor WATERMAN said it was not likely there would be any opposition, and in two weeks the ferry would clear $2,000. One or two small boats were building, but not large enough for heavy teams, and the man could not be bought cut for $500 to-day; in fact, it was the best business in California just now. He was opposed to giving away an exclusive privilege of that sort, unless the Board regulated the prices.
Supervisor GRANGER moved that the Committee establish a scale of prices for the ferry, and the rate per month of license.
Supervisor DICKERSON said he hoped nothing of the kind would be dene [sic]. The ferry would not be required more than two weeks longer, and in the meantime it was a great accommodation to have a boat there. They had better leave this matter open for competition, and attend to more important and pressing business
Supervisor WATERMAN said it would be impossible to give any other man a chance to compete, for the ferry was altogether on the man's own land.
Supervisor DICKERSON said there was a crevasse in the levee just back of his ranch, down the Sacramento, and an old gentleman was there with a boat bringing people around. There was no competition, but he found it a great advantage, as it was the only way he could get into town. He would be glad to get the Board to shut up the crevasse, but until that was done he hoped the old man would be allowed to continue. This was a parallel case, and if seme man had had energy enough to start a ferry there, they had better let him go on.
Supervisor WOODS suggested that no license had been applied for yet.
Supervisor GRANGER replied that no one had a right to run a ferry and take toll without a license, and he would let this man apply for a license. He was liable to a fine of two hundred dollars if he took toll without a license, and if the ferry was worth anything, let him pay some revenue to the city for it.
The PRESIDENT said the Citizens' Commlttee had the matter under consideration, and contemplated putting a temporary bridge across the slough there. He had no doubt they would do it in a few days, and meanwhile it would be better to grant no license, but encourage competition.
Mr. KEEFER, an elderly gentleman residing in that vicinity, said he would like to make a statement. He would pledge himself to take fifty dollars cash and go and stop the crevasse at Burns' slough and dry up the slough in two or three days so as not to require any ferry. The slough was washed away for a short distance, but the water could easily be turned into its natural channel, and in a few days would do all that was necesssary to do
While he had the attention of the Board, he would like to make a statement in regard to another matter. He understood the Board had appropriated eighty dollars for plank on the south road in his District (Road District No. 6). and for some reason Mr. Jones, their Road Overseer, had not obtained the plank. He wished to cast no reflections upon Jones, but he would propose that if the Board would give the planks, the Stage Company and the citizens would take them up there and put them down, without farther expense to the county. There were several bad places where the old bridges had been washed away; one of them, above his house, was twenty or twenty-five feet wide.
The PRESIDENT said he understood this was beyond the slough, on the cut to the railroad, and outside of the city.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he would move that not exceeding eighty dollars' worth of lumber be granted.
The PRESIDENT said be thought the best way would be
to declare the office of Road Overseer in that district vacant, and appoint a new Overseer.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he would move that the office be declared vacant.
Mr. WATERS (a resident in the vicinity), said he was satisfied that the bridge alone would cost more than eighty dollars, and the small bridges and culverts would cost not less than twenty dollars for each one. He judged that two hundred dollars in cash would be as little as the whole work cculd be done for. The trouble was, there was no one to order out the people to do work on the road. He had not paid a cent of road tax, nor done a day's labor on the road for four years.
After a long discussion, the office of Road Overseer in District No. 6 was declared vacant, and Windsor Keefer was unanimousiy elected to fill the vacancy, his bond being fixed at $1,000.
Supervisor WOODS moved to advertise for three days for proposals to fix the bridges and culverts on that road.
Supervisor GRANGER opposed the motion, because under the present extraordinary circumstances it was their duty to violate the letter of the statute in order to have the work done immediately.
Supervisor HANSBROW took the same view of the case, and moved to grant not exceeding $200 worth of lumber.
Supervisor WOODS withdrew his motion, and moved instead that $50 worth of lumber be granted.
Several other motions were made, and the Board finally voted (5 against 2) to grant $100 worth of lumber.
Supervisor HITE said although he was on the Levee Committee he was not here at the recent special meeting of the Board; he was engaged in getting his folks out of the water, and did not get through till Saturday evening. Since that time he had been engaged in viewing the levees and learning the condition of the city, to see if it was possible to keep it above water. A great many had expressed the opinion that the city had gone in, and that it would require $100,000 or more to keep out the water; but he was of opinion that half the money already raised. if properly expended, would serve to render the city perfectly secure.
From Brighton to Patterson's the water was running over, but a two foot levee would keep it out. As a representative of the people who were to be called upon to pay taxes to reimburse this citizens' loan, he claimed that it should be properly expended and not fooled away in damming up the water after it got into the city instead of preventing its coming in. The water at the points he had spoken of was many feet higher than the levees they were about to build up, and one-half the expense in building a levee from Rabel's tannery to Patterson's would keep it all cut. He proposed, then, that the city should be taxed to build a levee from Burns' slough down the American and Sacramento rivers to Sutterville.
At Smith's Gardens and above it a levee of three or four feet would be enough, and it could be built now very easily. At Burns' slough, they had been told today that the water could be stopped for fifty dollars. He proposed to tax the county to make an oId fashioned turnpike from Brighton up, and then the whole thing would be secured.
Supervisor WOODS suggested that the citlzens of the county would not consent to be taxed for such a purpose.
Supervisor HITE said he hoped this Board would appoint a Committee to confer wiih the Citizens' Committee, and request them to expend the money in that direction. He thought they had not viewed the ground as they should have done, and people in the city were not aware of the condition of things up that way. Besides the material for levees--sand and gravel--on the river banks was much better than elsewhere,
Supervisor HANSBROW said he was fally satisfied that the Citizens' Committee were entirely competent to perform the work it had undertaken, and he thought it was not the duty of the Board to advise, or interfere in any way, unless called upon. The citizens had appointed a Committee in which they had more confidence than in this Board, and he was fully satisfied with their action. Besides, he was opposed to the plans and schemes of Supervisor Hite. This city had sunk thousands of dollars already in that system of knee-high leveeing.
The best suggestion he had seen was that of having a railroad run along the river bank and do the leveeing, and believed it would be to the interest of the city to give the right of way and a large bonus with it for such purpose. He therefore called up the resolution offered by him on that subject at the last preceding meeting of the Board.
Supervisor DICKERSON called attention to the condition of the levee between the Half-way House and Sutterville.
Supervisor HANSBROW's resolution was read as follows:
Resolved, That a Committee be appointed by this Board, to confer with the officers of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company as to the practicability of ccnstructlng or removing their tracks so as to enter the city on the northern portion of the same.
Supervisor GRANGER advocated the revolution as the initiation of a measure of the utmost importance and one which, if carried out, would give security to the city against future inundations. A railroad could build and maintain levees cheaper than anybody else.
Supervisor HANSBROW urged the importance of taking immediate action, before the Citizens Committee should expend money, perhaps uselessly in that direction. He had asked Mr. Robinson whether such a thing could not be brought about, and he replied, "Yes, possibly; but it will take a long time."
Supervisor WOODS said he would vote for the resolution, because he wanted to give the Railroad Company a chance to negotiate peaceably for coming in on the north side, and if they would not he would vote to stop them out entirely.
Supervisor HITE said Mr. Robinson would ask more than any sane man would be willing to give, and a railroad could not follow the river bends. The Placerville road would be sufficient protection.
The resolution was adopted, and Supervisors Hansbrow, Hite and Granger were appointed the Committee.
Supervisor WOODS said Mr. Rightmire wanted to make some explanation in regard to his contract to build a bulkhead at Rabel's tannery.
Supervisor GRANGER said he understood that there had been a very material change in the river at that point, and that the dangerous point was now some distance lower down.
J. W. COFFROTH, counsel for Rightmire, made a statement of the case, proposing in behalf of Rightmire, that the contract be cancelled, provided the Board would refund to him the cash already expended, amounting to about $1,000, more or less, for which he would produce vouchers.
After a prolonged discussion the Chairman of the Levee Committee was directed to confer with the Citizens' Committee, and ascertain whether it would be advisable to go on with the work, and report to-morrow morning, so that the Board could take action at once.
Adjourned till ten o'clock to-morrow morning. .
[For the Union.]
THE CITY DEFENSES.
MESSRS. EDITORS: In an article written on Saturday, and published this morning, I endeavored to show that the levee might be repaired in a short time, and with the means in the hands of the Committee appointed by the citizens. An examination of the lower part of the levee made yesterday, convinces me that it may be done even more readily than I then supposed.
The question that next presents itself is, would the city be safe if the repairs suggested were made? I have no hesitation in saying that all that portion of the city west and north of the east and R street levees would be secure [?] if these repairs were properly made. But it has [?] been often asserted heretofore that the city was perfectly safe, that it could not be overflowed, etc., and yet it was overflowed. That the city was safe, perfectly safe, upon the completion of the R street levee, from all danger except that created by the folly and madness of its own citizens, I have no doubt.
The first act of suicidal policy on the part of the city, after the completion of the R street levee, was to allow the Railroad Company to make a solid embankment of earth from the point where it leaves R street, near Sixteenth street, to Poverty Ridge, leaving only a few feet--sixty or eighty, perhaps--of open space for the outlet of all the water that might pass down back of the east levee, in case of a breach in the American river levee above Thirty-first street.
Instead of leaving an opening of sixty or eighty feet at this point, there should have been left one of a fourth of a mile. The railroad should have rested on trestle work from the point where the surface of the ground west of Poverty Ridge sinks below the grade of the road, until it struck the R street levee. This opening--I judge from mere inspection without measurement--would have been nearly a fourth of a mile, and amply sufficient for the passage of all water that could ever come through back of the city.
The next piece of suicidal policy was to allow the Railroad Company to take off about eight inches
of the top of the R street levee in order to lower it to the grade of the road, and then to lay the rails on top of the embankment made by the city. The city should have insisted on the railroad company making an embankment of their own for the rails to rest on. This should have been made on the south side of the levee, and resting against it. In this way ten feet of thickness, and so much of additional strength would have been given to the weakest part of onr R street or inner levee.
The Railroad Company would have gladly accepted even this privilege. By building against the levee already built, they wonld only have required for the road an embankment ten feet thick at the bottom, and of the same thickness all the way to the top. To have built an independent embankment of their own, without the levee to lean against, it would necessarily have cost twice as much and been much less secure. The bottom in some places would have required a thickness of thirty or forty feet, instead of a regular thickness of ten feet.
The levee on the inside would then have been left from eight inches to a foot above the railroad, thus guarding against a very high overflow.
The next act of suicidal policy was in the Board of Supervisors permitting the levee to be opened on the line of Tenth street, to admit the passage of brick wagons under the railroad. This was deliberately destroying, at one blow, every possible advantage that could in any event accrue to the city from the construction of a levee--that cost, if I recollect rightly, over $150,000.
If we had a breach above Thirty-first street or below R street, that cut infallibly destroyed all advantage that the R street or east levee could be to the city. Why the Board of Supervisors thus deliberately destroyed what had cost the city so much, it would be hard for any sane man to even guess.
It is true that if the levee had stood everywhere else, and the water had not been thrown into the city by the railroad embankment, this cut might have been filled up in time to save the portion of the city above R street. But this would have been a difficult job on the spur of the occasion, and one of great uncertainty as to the result.
It is said that the Board of Supervisors did protest against the filling up of the cut between Poverty Ridge and the R street levee. This does not relieve the Board from the responsibility for our disaster; far from it. It is an acknowledgment that they saw the danger, but neglected to meet it. For they might have done more than protest--they might have enjoined. But why protest against the destruction of the levee by the Railroad Company while they were pursuing a similar course themselves by allowing it to be cut at Tenth street?
But it is asserted, and believed by many, that even if the R street levee had not been cut, and the railroad had not thrown the water into the city, still the Sutterville levee would have backed the water into the city. That is a palpable mistake. The whole of the R street levee (except a few places where the roads crossed, and which could have been repaired without difficulty, even after the water commenced running in,) was higher than the levee extending down the Sacramento towards Sutterville. The water from above would have flowed over the top of this latter levee before it reached the hight of the R street levee. This I know from personal inspection.
There are many wild and absurd stories about the water having risen above the top of the R street levee before it broke away, etc. I have examined the R street levee and find that there is no water mark on the top of it, adjoining the place where it has given away. Where the levee was left standing below its junction with the railroad the water was not nearer to the top than abont one foot.
Our city will be perfectly safe from floods if we will hereafter elect men to office who have some little knowlede [sic] of the system of levees by which we are protected, and will endeavor to strengthen and keep them in repair instead of destroying them.
There are other matters connected with our levee system and a system of drainage for the city, upon which I may furnish an article or two for the UNION, if you Messrs. Editors should think them worth publishing.
SACRAMENTO, Dec. 16, 1861. H. O. BEATTY. . . .
FOUND--IN THE WATER
[drawing of a horse] in N street, a SMALL BAY HORSE, with one white spot on the face, and one white fore foot. The owner can find him at JOHN SKELTON'S, N street, between Second and Third. dI7-6t*
BURIED MONEY.--A Frenchman on Filibuster Flat had about seven hundred dollars buried in a yeast powder box, near the margin of the river, and when the flood came he became a little anxious lest it should be washed away. So he and four or five of his countrymen commenced diving for the treasure, which they finally fished up in about seven feet of water, some twenty feet from the spot where it had originally been placed. Monsieur was so rejoiced at the recovery of the money that he forthwith invested twenty dollars of the same in claret, etc.--Douglas City Gazette, Dec. 4th.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3346, 18 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
The Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to cancel the permission originally given the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company to run their cars on the R street levee. . . .
MATTERS IN MENDOCINO.--A correspondent, Writing from Navarro, Mendocino county, December 9th, says:
The rain has been falling almost incessantly for three weeks, and the streams are now impassable leading from the valleys to the coast. As the very existence of California depends on rain, we must put put [sic] up with it, although it brings dark and gloomy days, with no rays of sunlight for weeks at a time. The flat at the mouth of the Navarro, where the Hendy sawmill stands, is nearly inundated, and the weather has been so rough that shipping lumber has become almost impossible, and dangerous to life and property. Two lighters (immense scows) got between the breakers and the vessel the other day, and could not get back to shore. One filled after having her deck load of freight washed off. No lives were lost. Millions of lumber in logs has been set afloat by the freshet, and reached the booms for supplying the mills above here. . . .
RELIEF MEETING AT MARYSVILLE.--A donation of some $1,400 having been sent to Marysville from San Francisco, for the relief of the citizens of the former place, supposed sufferers by the flood, a meeting was held in Marysville on the night of December 16th, and it was voted to return the money, thanking the donors for their liberality. A subscription was started and $500 or $600 raised for the relief of sufferers in Marysville. . . . .
WHERE OUGHT THE WORK TO BE DONE?--From the information we obtain, as well as from our own observation, we conclude that the first work should be done at the Tannery, and at the Burns slough, east of Smith's Garden. Whatever may be the determination as to repairing the Thirty-first and R street levees, it is evident that it is impracticable to do the work while water is flowing through the Burns slough. That flow of water should be stopped forthwith.
G. W. Colby, who formerly owned the land upon which it is located, and who has examined it, says that the water can be shut out for less than a hundred dollars. The work should be done forthwith, and preparatory to any improvements to be put on the cross levees. The Committee ought to have several hundred men employed in levee repairing. The levee built in Burns' slough, in 1853, was three hundred feet at the base, and about one hundred and fifty on the top.
It would have stood for a century if the water had not risen over it. By rebuilding and raising it from five to ten feet higher than before, it will remain firm until 1961. The ground there is favorable for work; it is not on the Thirty-first or R street levees, because they are more or less surrounded by water. Assistance to build the levee along the American may probably be obtained from the Swamp and Overflowed Land Fund. There are 60,000 acres of land to be drained and protected between the Sutter grant and Georgiana slough, but the American river must be leveed before that land can be protected.
It is probable, too, that the farmers on that land who have been overflowed by the water from the American, if applied to, would subscribe liberally in work to be done by themselves and teams, to build a levee on the American which will secure them for all time against an overflow from that quarter.
We repeat, that, in our judgment, the first work ought to be done at the Tannery and at the Burns slough. Let a few thousands be expended at these points, and the city is safe for the Winter. Until the water is stopped at the slough, it is impossible to work on the cross levees.
As a matter of interest just now, we republish the ordinance granting the right of way to the Sacramento Valley Railroad to come into the city on the R street levee. It was approved March 1, 1855, by R. P. Johnson, Mayor. On the same day the right to enter the city on the north side, either on A B or C streets, was granted to the Sacramento Railroad Company which was organized by P. H. Burnett, J. B. Haggin, and others.
Unfortunately for the city, this Company failed to go forward with their enterprise, while the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company went forward, and constructed their road on the south side of the city. It will be seen that the ordinance required the Company to "bridge all sloughs, east or outside the R street levee * * and they shall leave unimpeded the running of the waters of said ditch and sloughs which it may cross." Section 5 grants the temporary right to lay down rails from Sixth street to the river; and provides that the city authorities may, after twelve months, by giving the Company notice, have the temporary track from Sixth street taken up and removed. If the Company refuses to remove it when notified, the authorities may proceed to have it done at. the expense of the Company.
This notice the Supervisors may now give, if they deem it advisable. They may also pass an ordinance repealing that of 1855, granting the Company the right of way, on the assumption that it has forfeited all rights acquired under it by not keeping bridges over the slough east of the R street levee. But such an ordinance would be void, unless the Courts decide that the Company has forfeited its rights under the ordinance of 1855.
A good many citizens are anxious to have the railroad line transferred to the north side of the city, in view of the damage it has caused to the property of citizens by being on the south side, but we confess that we do not see how it is to be accomplished, unless it can be made the interest of the Company to remove.
A railroad embankment on the north side, on a grade to to correspond with the elevation of the levee, would as certainly add to the protection of the city as the present embankment did to its destruction.
Under no circumstances can the railroad be permitted to come into the city on the south side on a solid embankment. On the north side it would be required to build an embankment as solid as possible. It is possible that the donation of lots in Sutter Lake for a depot, machine shops, etc., as suggested by a correspondent yesterday, might be some inducement to the Company to assent to the proposition to remove its line north of the city. For years past the railroad has made use of Front street as its depot. It is probably the only railroad in the world without a depot at its main terminus.
But the people of Sacramento must not depend upon railroads for protection. They must act for themselves, and with energy and rapidity. If the R street levee is to be repaired the railroad will be compelled to do it, in order to relay their track and renew connection with the Sacramento river. This is a consideration which comes properly before the Board of Supervisors.
TAXPAYERS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS.
We republish below the list of names of fifty of the heaviest taxpayers
in the city, with the amounts which they have subscribed. Since our last
publication, six more have come forward and given in their subscriptions,
which will be noticed in the annexed list. It will be seen that nearly
one-half of the whole number of this class of taxpayers is still behind,
but they will undoubtedly respond when called upon. When the full amount
of the subscriptions shall have been rendered by the large as well as
other taxpayers, we will publish the list in fall :
THE FLOOD IN SIERRA.--The late storm in La Porte and Downieville was very
severe. The Messenger of Dec. 14th says the damage to ditches,
bridges, roads and mining operations was almost universal. The Rabbit Creek
Fluming Company had their works badly injured. Greeley & Reed lost a dam
which cost $1,000. The Messenger adds :
City Tax. tion to Loan.
B. F. Hastings $3,048 $5,000
D. O. Mills & Co. 2,829 5,000
Sacramento Valley Railroad . . 2,781 000
H. E Robinson 2,244 250
Kleinhans & Bro. 2,238 000
Boyd & Davis 1,959 1,000
Cal. Steam Nav. 1,883 ----
Hull & Lohman 1,719 500
L. B. Harris 1,644 2,000
Sacramento Gas Co. 1,427 5,000
Booth & Co. 1,405 1,000
E. P. Figg 1,278 500
R. H. McDonald 1,253 500
Stanford Bros. 1,225 1,000
Lindley, of Wooster & Weaver . 1,216 ----
John Gillig 1,104 ----
J. H. Carroll & Co 1,039 500
Sneath & Arnold 1,034 250
Lanos & Co. 1,029 1,000
J. Carolan & Co. 926 200
Lord, Holbrook & Co. 921 1,000
P. H. Burnett 879 000
A. K. Grim, for Samuel Norris 875 000
Rosanna H. Keenan 857 500
Lloyd Tevis 843 000
Ebner & Bros. 837 100
Sacramento Valley Railroad . . 831 000
C. Crocker 827 500
Harmon & Co. 822 500
F. W. Pratt 813 000
E. M. Skaggs 786 000
S. Brannan, (Wetzlar, Agent) . 784 000
J. W. Winans 756 500
V. G. Fourgeaud 751 000
Milliken Bros.... 718 000
John McNulty .......... 710 100
A. G. Tryon 708 000
Sacramento & Yolo Bridge Co. 703 500
C. J. Jansen. 692 000
C. J. Hooker 677 000
A. C. Monson 672 000
S. P. Dewey 674 000
D. E. Callahan 667 250
John Rivett 665 000
James Anthony & Co. 660 1,000
Melvina Hoopes 640 000
H. M. Naglee 648 000
J. C. Jonghaus 647 250
P. Vertimer 644 000
C. H. Grimm 639 500
Not a dam was left in the stream below the main bridge by our office.
The bridge is sufficiently undermined to render it unsafe. The one on
the Secret Diggings trail was carried away. In Clark's Ravine, Secret
Diggings, Lee & Matthews' loss is over $1,000, which is only a fraction
of the mischief occurring in that vicinity. The Feather River Ditch Company
may require $1,500 to replace their ditch in its previous condition.
Capt. A. N. Smith's, perhaps $700. But the loss of water money, which
these ditches would otherwise have brought in, will amount to more than
the repairs. A large number of hands are at work upon them, and the water
will soon be running. Quite a number of companies are anxious to commence
piping. It is safe to say that the freshet made a clean sweep of the
sluice boxes in all the creeks of this region; railroad tracks and dump
houses suffered furiously, in all directions. The four bridges crossing
Slate creek, between this place and Port Wine, St. Louis and Pine Grove,
were taken partly or wholly away.
The flood about Downieville was very disastrous. The Sierra Democrat
proprietors, fearing for the safety of their building, had all their
materials removed. The Democrat of Dec. 14th says :
It was estimated that two thousand cords of wood went by the Durgan
bridge, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday noon, after two houses had gone
under it on the current, Jersey bridge broke and swung round, heading
with the Jersey end down stream. Stout cables on the other end held
it long enough to cause the current to lift the structure upon a gravel
shoal near the right bank. Men then made for the bridge with more
hawsers, and it was soon made fast to the bank; and the current being
broken against it, soon commenced raising the shoal with deposits
of gravel, bowlders and sand. We here give a statement of losses, as
nearly as they could be gathered : J. N. Flandreau & Co., mill
logs, bridge, aqueducts, flumes, milldam, residence, barn and out
buildings, $10,000; Solomon Purdy, foundry and fixtures, dam, damage
to Jersey Flat water works, $2,500; Thomas Freehill, Durgan bridge and
Snake Bar water ditch, $2,000; and about fifteen others were damaged
to the amount of some $15,000. . . .
Granting the Right of Way to the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company to construct their Railroad within the corporate limits of the city of Sacramento.
Be it ordained by the Mayor and Common Council of the city of Sacramento:
Section 1. The right of way is hereby granted to the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company to construct and lay down railway tracks and operate thereon, within the limits of the city of Sacramento, on the terms, conditions, restrictions, and subject to the provisions hereinafter mentioned.
Sec. 2. The said railroad may be constructed from the eastern bounds of the city in a westerly direction, on and along R street and upon the R street levee, as far as the west side of Sixth street, and along and across any streets or alleys within the following bounds of the city, viz: From Sixth to Twelfth street, and from L to R street, which may be selected by said Company to obtain a sufficient or necessary curvation for the purpose of communicating with and running their locomotive, passenger and freight cars to their depot, which they may erect within said described limits.
Sec. 3. The said Railroad Company shall have the right to lay down one or more tracks, with necessary and suitable turnouts, side tracks and switches, and to operate thereon with either steam or horsepower, within the bounds and upon either of the streets or alleys they may select, mentioned in the preceding section: provided, that said track or tracks be so constructed as to leave free from obstruction the passage of the streets and alleys so selected, for carts, drays, carriages, or other vehicles, horse and foot passengers;
to leave also unimpeded the running of the waters in the sewers and gutters which it may cross, and not run their locomotives over said track or tracks at a greater rate of speed than twelve miles per hour, and at all times provide their locomotives and cars with breaks [sic] and proper safety guards; and that the principal office of said Company shall be permanently located in the city of Sacranento, and otherwise conform to the provisions of this ordinance.
Sec. 4. The said Railroad Company shall at their own cost and expense, widen and strengthen said R street levee, and keep the same in good repair as long as they shall occupy it, and that said Company are hereby prohibited from cutting awsy or reducing the uniform height of said levee, without first obtaining permission from the Mayor and Common Council.
Se:. 5 The said Railroad Company may, and they are hereby authorized to construct on the R street levee, a
temporary railway track from Sixth street along the said levee to a point sufficiently near the Sacramento river to allow of a proper and necessary curvation to come on to Front street northward of their railroad, and that the said temporary railway track shall be constructed along said Front street to the foot of M street, at such distance from the back of the river as the Mayor and Common Council may direct, and the said track shall be laid down as not to obstruct the free passage of teams, carriages, drays, or other vehicles,
and to be used only for the purpose of transporting from the river to Sixth and R streets, by horse power, the materials for the construction and stocking of their road or roads, and also from said Sixth street to the river all lumber, lime, stone, produce, or other freight from the interior; provided, however, that the Mayor and Common Council shall at all times have the power, after the expiration of twelve months from the approval of this ordinance, to require the said temporary track to be removed at the expense of the said Company, by giving six months notice to said Company, that the said removal is by them required for the public good, and if upon such notice said Company neglect or refuse to remove the same at the expiration of six menths, the said Mayor and Common Council may cause the same to be removed at the expense of the said Company.
It is also provided further, that said Company shall at the time of constructing such temporary track, or wherever the same may be considered necessary by the Mayor and Common Council, to construct proper sewers or culverts to admit of drainage, and the unimpeded passage of water to the city draining machine, of such dimensions as shall be prescribed by said Mayor and Common Council, and approved by the City Surveyor; and also, to construct bridges or convenient crossings at all the intersections of the streets running at right angles of said railway track, to admit of the free passage across said track of wagons or other vehicles, and foot passengers, and they shall maintain and keep ln good repair all said sewers and crossings.
Sec. 6. The said city reserves to itself the right to cause the removal of the said railway track or tracks specified or granted in section second of this ordinance, upon their giving six months notice in writing through the Mayor and Common Council to the said Company to that effect; and upon the payment to the said Company by the said city of the assessed cash value to the city, at the time or immediately after such removal may be made of all necessary improvements pertaining to the business of said Company contiguous thereto, together with the original cost of laying down said railway track or tracks, and the necessary expense of taking up and removing the same, said value, cost and expense to be determined by disinterested persons, who shall be duly qualified and be selected in the following maaner, to wit: One by the Common Council of said city, and one by said Railroad Company, and in case they are unable to agree, the two thus selected shall appoint a third person to act in conjunction with them--the decision of the majority of whom shall be final.
Sec. 7. The said Company shall bridge all sloughs east or outside of the R street levee within the corporate limits of the city; and also bridge the ditch or trench alongside and north of said levee, leading to the city draining machine; and they shall leave unimpeded the running of the waters of said ditch and sloughs which it may cross.
Sec. 8. The said Company shall fix upon the location of their road as aforesaid, deposit a map and profile of the same in the office of the City Surveyor, certified to by the Chief Engineer of said Company, and notify the Mayor and Common Council of said city in writing to that effect, within ten days after the approval of this ordinance.
Sec. 9. The said Railroad Company shall not construct or connect with any railway track or tracks terminating at or near the Sacramento river, at any point without the limits of the city of Sacramento, and within the limits of Sacramento county.
Sec 10. The said Railroad Company shall commence grading upon the road within thirty days after the approval of this ordinance, and they shall prosecute the work without delay to completion, and shall within one year from the date as aforesaid, complete and put in running order at least fifteen miles of said road from the western terminus of the same. If said company shall fail or neglect to comply with the provisions and requirements of this ordinance, or shall violate any of its provisions, then all the rights acquired by said Company under and by virtue of this ordinance, shall become void and of no effect.
Sec 11. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage.
Approved March 1st, 1855.
R. P. JOHNSON, Mayor.
I hereby certify that the above ordinance was passed by the Common Council, Feb. 19, 1855.
T. A. THOMAS
Secretary of the Common Council.
LOSE [sic] OF RESERVATION CATTLE.--It has been stated that Indian
Superintendent Hanson lost about 300 head of cattle on the coast range
in a storm. This is a mistake. Only some seventy-three cattle and two
horses were frozen. . . .
In compliance with a resolution of the Board of Supervisors, the
CITIZENS' LEVEE COMMITTEE hereby give notice that a Meeting will be held
in the County Court Room THIS DAY, at 11 o'clock A M , to take into
consideration the propriety of removing the Railroad to the northern part
of the city.
C. H. SWIFT, Chairman.
C. W. Lightner, Secretary. d18-1t
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
that Sealed Proposals for building two Bridges,
one over the J street slough, and one over the K street
slough, will be received at my office until 12 o'clocck [sic] M
on the l9th instant. Bids must be separate, and state
the cash price, and the price if paid for in evidences
of the city's indebtedness. J. HOWELL, Clerk,
By W. M. Knox, Deputy Clerk.
Office Clerk Board of Supervisors. }
December 17, 1861. } d18-2t
HYDRAULIC HOUSE RAISING.--We understand that Edward Fell, of San Francisco,
has made arrangements to bring to this city his hydraulic apparatus for
raising brick buildings. He has already engaged to raise a building for
Isaac Lohman, and has a prospect of contracts enough to keep him employed
for some time. The owners of Ebner's Hotel, the Lady Adams Building,
Heywood's Block, the new building on the corner of K and Second streets,
and various others on J street, will in all probability raise just as
soon as Mr. Fell gets thoroughly to work, and the ease, safety and economy
of the enterprise are established.
By this means our citizens can avail themselves of a double security to
merchandise, such vast quantities of which have been recently destroyed,
and in due time we can raise our streets to an elevation that shall give
us drainage, dry cellars, and a much better reputation than levees alone
can afford as. In San Francisco, during several years past, brick buildings
of large size have been raised with entire success by hydraulic process.
The levee, grade and drainage questions should be looked at in all their
bearings, and the wise and practicable plan should be adopted, whatever
it may be.
GRAND LARCENY.--A man named Samnel M. Sidell, a German by birth, was
arrested yesterday, by Lieutenant Deal, on the steamer Nevada, at
half-past one o'clock, on a charge of grand larceny. The arrest was
made on a warrant sworn out by William Belsteatt, a German also, who
resides between this city and Sutterville, on the river front, by whom
Sidell had been employed. Belsteatt accuses Sidell of stealing $1,100,
which had been buried, and the locality of which was not known by any
body except the owner and the prisoner. The money had been buried in
a tin can, and was missed about a week ago, soon after the flood. The
prisoner had in his possession when arrested the sum of $350, which,
however, he claimed as his property. The remainder of the money. $750,
could not be found. The case will be more fully investigated in a day
REPAIRS COMMENCED.--It is gratifying to perceive that many of our citizens
have commenced the work of repairing sidewalks and replacing the street
crossings, which had been displaced by the water. It is highly desirable
that these improvements should be made without delay, wherever practicable,
and especially in the central portion of the town, where there is constant
travel. We are now out of all danger from another flood until there are
additional rains, and the Committee of Safety will doubtless have the
levees so far repaired in a short time as to insure security until permanent
protection can be afforded. The time for the meeting of the Legislature
is rapidly approaching. Order should be brought out of the chaos which
surrounds us before the meeting takes place. . . .
PROVIDING ROOM.--The Committee of Safety have commenced, at Rabel's tannery,
the erection of a building in which to feed and lodge the workmen who are
employed and to be employed on the construction of the new levee at that
point. About double the number of teams and men were at work yesterday
that were employed on Monday. W. F. Knox, who superintends the work, is
a member of the Committee of Safety, and receives no compensation for his
services, as might have been erroneously inferred from our reference to
the subject yesterday. . . .
FIRE.--At about a quarter before six o'clock yesterday morning, two one
story frame houses on the north side of I, west of Third street, were
destroyed by fire. They belonged to F. Fairchild. One was occupied by
Chinamen as a restaurant, and the other by the same class of tenants.
When the fire broke out there appeared to be no American in sight to
give the alarm. The bell of Engine Co. No. 3 was at length rung, and
one or two persons shouted in such a manner as to give the impression
that the levee had again given way.
SEALED PROPOSALS.--The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors advertises for sealed
proposals for the erection of a bridge on J street and another on K street,
over the slough near the fort. Bids must be handed in by, or before, twelve
o'olock to-morrow. An effort, it is said, will be made to obtain from the
Board of Supervisors a license to build toll bridges at these points. None
but free bridges should be built there.
EXAMINATION.--Those who desire aid from the Howard Benevolent Society, in
either food or clothing, are questioned so far as is deemed necessary
by the Examining Committee, as to their occupation, means of living,
character, etc. All who are not found to be unworthy are assisted. The
demands of a few only have been refused.
WATER AND WEATHER.--The water st the Sacramento gauge at sunset last evening
stood twenty-one feet above low water mark, having neither fallen nor
risen during the past twenty-four hours. The sky was clouded during a
great portion of yesterday, showing some signs of rain. In the evening
they presented a more broken appearance, promising a postponement of
rain and a period of clear weather.
ON THE SAFE SIDE.--At one of our hotels, yesterday morning, a boarder
called for mackerel for breakfast, with the remark: "I am darned sure
they were not drowned by the flood, but I don't feel so certain about
beef and pork." He had been around town considerably, and had seen so
many drowned cattle and hogs lying around, that he concluded to be on
the safe side,
DRAINAGE.--A number of workmen were engaged
yesterday in digging a trench in the center of Eighth street from I to
K streets, to drain off the water now standing north of I street. The
work is done under the direction of Civil Engineer Leet, and is paid for
by voluntary subscriptions of residents of that part of the town, collected
by A. C. Sweetser and others.
AID FROM SAN FRANCISCO.--N. A. H. Ball received yesterday, from
Rev. T. Starr King, of San Francisco, a check for $375, collected from
his congregation on Sunday last, for the use of the Howard Benevolent
Society. He also received from the ladies of the same congregation
twenty-four packages of clothing for the same purpose. . . .
THE FRANKLIN SCHOOL HOUSE.--Franklin school house has since the inundation
been occupied by the Howard Benevolent Society, as an auxiliary to the
Pavilion, in the good work of feeding and clothing those who are in need.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 1861.
The Board met at ten o'clock, the President in the chair, and all the members present. The minutes of yesterday were read and approved.
The bond of Windoar [sic] Keefer, Road Overseer of District No. Six, for the penal sum of $1,000, was recieved and approved.
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution that the Committee on Drainage
receive proposals for building bridges across Burns' slough, on J and K
streets, the bridge on K street to be made passable for teams in fifteen
days from the date of contract, and the work to be paid for in cash
received for tolls, under an ordinance to be passed by the board.
The PRESIDENT suggested that the resolution should properly go to the
Committee on Roads and Bridges.
Supervisor HITE said he preferred to refer it to the Committee on Drainage,
because the Committee on Roads and Bridges was composed, with one exception,
of members living in the country. He proposed to raise the money by levying
tolls on the bridges, the money to be paid over weekly to the party taking
the contract and the toll gatherer to be appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor GRANGER said he doubted the propriety of establishing a toll
brdge within the city limits.
Supervisor HITE said there was no money to build the bridges in any other
manner, and it would be a very light and temporary tax on the traveling
public which would not be felt. He proposed this as the only means of
building the bridges without embarassing the city by creating further
Supervisor WATERMAN moved to amend by substituting the Committee on Roads
Supervisor HANSBROW arid he was opposed to any project of establishing
toll bridges in the city. The policy was bad, and they had refused to
authorize toll bridges even in the country.
The PRESIDENT suggested that the Citizens' Committee should attend to
this matter. It struck him that they had more money than they could
expend on the levees just now.
Supervisor HITE said he had conversed with members of the Citizens'
Committee, and they seemed to approve of his plan. Mr. Swift told him
that he did not think the Committee had any authority to build bridges.
The city was now on the very verge of bankruptcy and they ought to take
whatever measures they could to have the work done without increasing
Supervisor GRANGER said if the resolution was amended so as to receive
proposals at the same time for doing the work, and receiving evidence
of city indebtedness in payment, he would vote for it; that would show
what the difference would be, and the people would understand why the
Board established a toll bridge, If they decided to do so.
Supervisor HITE said he had no doubt the plan he had proposed would meet
the approval of the citizens.
Supervisor GRANGER said be might be satisfied that that was the wisest
course, but the public did not know it.
Supervisor HITE replied that he was not so very timid about the public.
If he did his duty the public would be satisfied.
Supervisor HANSBROW favored the amendment suggested by Mr. Granger, and moved
a further amendment, that the contract be made by the full Board, instead of
a Committee, as Committees were more liable to be influenced by pressure
brought to bear upon them, to lead them astray.
Supervisor HITE said he should be opposed to building this bridge in any
other way than by levying tolls, yet he would accept the amendment of
Mr. Granger, and would consent that the contract should be made subject
to the approval of the Board.
After further conversation, the resolution was withdrawn, to be presented
in a new draft as modified.
Supervisor HANSBROW said Mr. McLane, who had established the ferry acrcss
the slough at the point referred to, was present and would like to make
Permission having been given, Mr. McLane said he inferred from the
proceedings of the Board yesterday that the impression was that the
ferry was established there to make money; but such was not the case.
He called on Mr. Robinson on Wednesday to make arrangements for bringing
their passengers by the stage lines into the city, but Mr. Robinson
declined to do anything in the premises, stating that the railroad now
ended at Brighton, and passengers must get in from there the best way
He (McLane) had thereupon had this boat made and put there to ferry the
stages and mails across, intending to charge tolls only for the purpose
of covering his expenses, amounting altogether to about $400. They
commenced running on Thursday morning, and had taken yesterday $306.
Probably by this time it would amount to $375. He dld not know that
there was any law requiring him to have a license; in fact, he did not
think of it.
He only put the boats there for the sake of transporting the mails and
passengers of the Pioneer and Overland Stage Lines. He considered that
the Railroad Co. was really bound to bring the passengers in according
to their contract, but as that company neglected to do so, he thought it
was his duty to provide some means of transportation. After the ferry had
paid for itself, he was willing the Board of Supervisors should take the
boats and fix their own rates of toll.
He thought the width of the slough there was not over one hundred feet.
Supervisor WATERMAN said teams were ferried across very rapidly, and he
thought the ferry must be making $200 a day.
Supervisor HANSBROW said this matter was up yesterday, but the attention of
the Board having been called to other matters, no action was taken. He
thought, after this explanation, it would look rather like extortion to
call on Mr. McLane to pay for a license. The Railroad Company had manifested
the same spirit in this case as in hundreds of other cases during the past
few years. He thought the Board need take no action unless the rates were
deemed extortionate, and in that case they might reduce the rates and give
a longer time. It was good policy to afford all possible facilities to
stage companies, and especially the Overland Company.
Mr. McLANE said he had proposed to sell out his boats to-day, and let the
party purchasing fix his own terms with the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor GRAINGER said he would prefer to have Mr. McLane turn the
matter over to the city, after having collected enough to remunerate
himself; then let the city establish the lowest possible rates, and
pass McLane's stages free.
Supervisor HANSBROW said if the ferry was to go into the hands of
private parties as a matter of speculation, he would be in favor of
strenuous measures to prevent extortion.
Mr. McLANE said, very well; he would hold on to it, and await the action
of the Board.
Supervisor HITE verbally reported, as Chairman of the Committee on Drainage,
that he had conferred with the Citizens' Committee, and they thought it would
not be necessary to build the proposed bulkhead at Rabel's tannery, and that
the better course for the Board would be to rescind the contract with
A. D. Rightmire, as proposed by him.
Supervisor HANSBROW said: Then it was only necessary for Mr. Rightmire to
prepare his vouchers and accounts, and present them to the Board.
A. D. RIGHTMIRE said he proposed to go to San Franoisco for that purpose
to-day, and would return with all the vouchers of his expenditures, but
he would like to have some definite understanding before he left that
the contract was to be rescinded. He only asked that the Board should
make him whole as to his expenses, and not a dime beyond that.
Supervisors GRANGER, HANSBROW, and the PRESIDENT thought no formal
declaration was necessary on the part of the Board--that the word of
individual members was sufficient
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution that on the presentation of
the proper vouchers the Board would proceed to cancel the contract,
paying Mr. Rightmire his necessary expenditures.
After a protracted discussion, in which all the members expressed
themselves in favor of accepting Mr. Rightmire's proposition, the
resolution was withdrawn with Mr. Rightmire's assent
Supervisor HANSBROW said, as one of the Special Committee appointed
yesterday to confer with the officers of the Railroad Company, in relation
to the removal of the railroad to the north side of the city, he would make
a verbal report. In the first place it was unfortunate that the President
should have appointed a Committee a portion of which was opposed to the
object sought. He had called upon Mr. Robinson, and that gentleman declined
to make any proposition, saying he was not authorized to do so, but he stated
that if the Board would make any proposition, he would immediately call a
meeting of the directors to take the subject into consideration.
He hoped some definite proposition might be made, by means of which they
could get at the subject, for he considered it one of the first importance.
The excuse Mr. Robinson made at first was that they could not get the right
of way, and that the Board had no right to do this or to do that. He
(Hansbrow) then asked him what they would do, supposing the right of way
was obtained on the north side. He replied that then it would take time,
and intimated that if they could have till next season, the Company would
give the matter serious consideration.
He then spoke of coming in on the R street levee, and Supervisor Hansbrow
told him that he should oppose that now and forever. Immediate action
should be taken on this subject, and he (Hansbrow) suggested that the
President should call a public meeting to get an expression of the views
of the citizens.
He was satisfied that ninety-nine hundreths of the citizens were opposed
to allowing the railroad to he rebuilt on the R street levee, and nothing
would protect the city and give the public confidence like a railroad
levee on the north side. The railroad was at first allowed to come into
the city only to Sixth street, then they were allowed a temporary track
to the river for the sake of convenience in building their road, then
they obtained permssion to run up to M street, and lastly to L street,
but never beyond that, though the Company had taken it upon themselves to
lay their tracks to K street.
Supervisor RUSSELL said he thought it was the place of the Company to ask
the Board on what terms they would allow them to come into the city,
instead of the Board asking them on what terms they would consent to
Supervisor HANSBSOW said J. Mora Moss had threatened repeatedly to take up
the tracks and remove the road to some point below, and doubtless they had
often gained concessions by making such threats. He had no doubt that the
Board would dictate the terms; amicable negotiation would be the best
policy. He did not believe, however, that in any event the Board would
allow them to rebuild on the R street levee.
Supervisor GRANGER said if he had been present at the conference with
Robinson he should probably have concurred with Supervisor Hansbrow. He
was in favor of calling a public meeting to ascertain whether the people
were willing to allow the Sacramento Valley Railroad to terminate where
it has done; if so, upon what conditions; and if not, upon what terms they
would be willing to allow them to come into the northern part of the city,
follow the line of the old levee, and come into I street at about Seventh
street. His own opinion was that the city could well afford to pay the
Company $100,000 to come in that way. He did not want to take the
responsibility of acting, however, without first consulting the citizens;
because, if the railroad should eventually be driven to Sutterville they
would be blamed for it
Supervisor RUSSELL moved that the report be adopted.
Supervisor WOODS said he would vote for the report, although it looked to
him like child's play to call citizens meetings. The Board should be
capable of acting for itself, getting the opinion of its legal adviser.
Supervisor GRANGER repeated that he was unwilling to take the
responsibility of acting without flrst getting the sense of the
citizens by a public meeting. Then if the railroad should be driven
to Sutterville he would not be responsible.
Supervisor HITE moved to lay the matter over till to-morrow, in order to
learn whether the Board legally had power to prevent the rebuilding of
the railroad on R street
Supervisor GRANGER said there was no doubt they had the power. All the
ordinances granting privileges to the Company were conditional, and not
one of the conditions had they fulfilled.
Supervisor Woods said then the Board ought to rescind the ordinances at once.
Supervisor GRANGER said he preferred to get an expression from the people
Supervisor HITE said, while they were consulting the dear people,
Mr. Robinson would have his railroad rebuilt coming into the city on the
Supervisor GRANGER said, in that case, thay would get him out again, and
he would be one to help do it.
Supervisor HITE said he was as much opposed to the levee on R street as
any man, notwithstanding that he had been unjustly charged with being
Supervisor DICKERSON said this was altogether a city matter, in which the
country members did not feel called upon to take part; but when they knew
what the city wanted, they would take hold and help them out.
Supervisor WOOD said there were hundreds of idle men here who would now
be fully employed, if the railroad depot was on Sixth street, where it
ought to be.
Supervisor HANSBROW offered the following:
WHEREAS, The Sacramento Valley Railroad Company have, by the act of filling
up the gap in the R street levee, most flagrantly violated their contract,
in not complying with the same; therefore,
Resolved, That the privilege heretofore granted to them, in allowing
them to run their cars on the R street levee, is hereby rescinded.
The resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote.
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution, which was also adopted, requesting
the Citizens' Committee to call a public meeting of citizens to take into
consideration the propriety of removing the railroad to the northern
portion of the city.
Supervisor HANSBROW called attention to the condition of the levee on
Second street. He understood the water was seeping through an old sewer
there, and flooding the foot of J and K streets. The chain gang was
engaged in cleaning out the water tanks, but he supposed the Citizens'
Committee would attend to it.
Supervisor HITE again offered his resolution relative to bridges on
J and K streets, modified so as to read as follows:
Resolved, That the Committee on Roads, Bridge and Ferries will
receive proposals until 12 o'clock M on the 19th instant, for completing
two bridges--one across the slough at J street, and one across the slough
at K street--the bids to be accompanied by plans and specifications.
Bids for each bridge to be separate, and to state the time when each
will be completed under the contract--no bid for the K street bridge
to be considered unless it agrees that the bridge shall be passable for
teams within fifteen days from the date of the contract--each bid to be
accompanied by at least two sureties, of at least double the sum of the
bid--the bids to state cash price, to be paid out of tolls to be
received at said bridges as rapidly as it accumulates, and price if paid
for in city evidences of indebtedness.
Supervisor WOODS said he should vote against any man's receiving tolls.
C. H. SWIFT, Chairman of the Citizen's Committee, having been called upon
to make a statement on this subject, said the Committee had been receiving
every day numerous applications to build bridges and repair roads injured
by the flood, but he conceived, as did most of the Committee, that they
had nothing whatever to do with building bridges. He had no doubt that a
large proportion of the citizens were opposed to building up R street
levee, and it would be useless to build up the Thirty-first street levee
if that was not done.
Various plans had been talked of, but the Committee hardly knew what to
do. This morning he had an interview with some of the Swamp Land
Commissioners. Heretofore their action had depended on the idea that
Sacramento city would take care of itself, and therefore had proposed
to levee across this side of Sutteiville, leaving the whole county to be
flooded if the American river should break away again. Now he thought they
would see their error and join with the city in putting up a strong,
permanent levee down the American river.
That would be the only way to reclaim the tules below the city.
Supervisor HITE's resolution was adopted.
On motion of Supervisor WOODS, the Clerk was directed to notify the officers
of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company of the action of the Board.
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution requesting the Levee Committee to
confer with the Citizens' Committee, at the meeting of the latter today,
and request them to have all the labor performed by them for the protection
of the city expended on the banks of the American and Sacramento rivers,
as the Board deemed it unnecessary to repair any cross levees.
Supervisor GRANGER opposed the resolution, because he thought it looked
too much like begging a job, and Supervisor Hite withdrew it.
Supervisor RUSSELL asked what disposition was to be made of the ferry across
Supervisor GRANGER said he thought that matter had been disposed of. If
not, he moved that the Committee on Roads, Bridges and Ferries be
authorized to make arrangements with Mr. McLane.
Supervisor WATERMAN said the lumber in the scow out there did not cost
more than $75, and it was made in one day. He thought $400 was more than
the whole establishment cost.
Supervisor GRANGER's motion prevailed.
Supervisor WOODS said he was informed by the Auditor that the amount of
taxes to be collected by J P. O'Neill, the Road Overseer of the Twelfth
District, was $1,304. He therefore moved that the additional bond of that
officer be fixed at $2,000. Carried.
Adjourned till ten o'clock Wednesday morning
THE STATE CAPITAL.--The Marysville Appeal has the following remarks,
in connection with the noble and self-sacrificing spirit evinced by the
people of Sacramento, and the removal of the Capital, as contemplated by two or three hasty journals:
It is a creditable fact that the press generally speak sympathizingly and
generously of Sacramento, rejoicing in her determination not to repudiate,
and expressing hearty wishes that she may soon rise with unabated vigor
and beauty from her last and greatest afliction. The general opinion
seems to be that the State cannot afford to have its second city wiped
out, and that destruction is not its destiny. "All is not lost," so
long as the "unconquerable will" of her plucky citizens remains. But
some journals have taken advantage of her misfortune--a misfortune
that might have been averted, and that will be hereafter--to suggest that
the Capital ought to be removed.
The suggestion is ill timed and ungenerous, to say the least; though
this might be overlooked if it were supported by any good reasons.
The fact is, the last flood is no more an argument in favor of removal
than any previous one. After the experience of several floods, and
learning the full extent of the danger to which the city was exposed,
the almost unanimous sentiment of the State decided that Sacramento was
the most central and every way eligible site for the capital; and all the
machinations of her enemies, and of interested parties in other localities,
could not prevail against her. For many years she has protected herself and
the State property amply against floods, till a greater than all others came
to teach her what must be done to assure her security through the whole
future. The Legislature meanwhile contracted for the erection of a
splendid capital, which has already been commenced on a broad and
substantial foundation that defies the flood. The public mind has
settled down upon the quiet and comfortable conviction that the long
discussion as to the proper location of the seat of government would
not be revived, and that we are to have public buildings worthy of our
wealthy, vast and vigorous State, and sufficient for the use of many
Until it can be proved that Sacramento is unable to protect itself
against future floods, every suggestion for a removal of the capital should
be ruled out of order. Until then, we shall insist that the capital
remain where it is, and that, if necessary, the State shall aid
to make it perfectly secure. If Sacramento does not yet despair
of herself, the people and their representatives should not despair
GOLD HILL CAVED.--Gold Hill, a famous mining locality in Nevada Territory,
caved in December 13th, owing to the late storm. The Territorial
Enterprise says :
The principal cave occurred about noon yesterday, at the claims of
Mosheimer & Winters, and Hurd & Winters, situated at the southwest
side of the hill. There has been a fissure, occasioned by the ground
settling along the west side of the hill for some months.
The recent rains permeated the loose formation, and on Sunday the
indications of a cave became so obvious that the workmen ceased
operations. Yesterday morning the ground commenced settling gradually,
and about noon a huge mass, which rested on timbers--the rock having
been completely excavated--fell, leaving a chasm about forty by sixty
feet at the surface, and some thirty feet deep. One of the companies
have a tunnel running from the base of the hill and intersecting the
mine at a depth considerably lower than the cave, and it is probable
they will be able to prosecute the work by this means after the mouth
of the tunnel has been cleared. The tunnels of some of the claims
adjoining on the north have partially fallen in, and the bent state
of the timber indicates an immense pressure.
It is difficult to say whether the caving will stop now, or the whole
of Gold Hill proper fall in. The mine has been improperly worked. The
whole hill resting on timbers and it would not surprise us since what
might properly be compared to a portion of an arch, has given way, to
see the entire structure fall.
DAMAGED HAY.--Large quantities of hay in the city have been destroyed
by the late flood. The limited quantity of the remainder now in store
has caused it to rise rapidly in price. It sells at from thirty to
forty dollars per ton. . . .
Party Postponed.--The managers having charge of the social party, which
was to have taken place at the High School on Friday next, have decided
to postpone the party indefinitely, for reasons too obvious to require
mentioning. . . .
DEATH BY A LAND SLIDE.--La Porte Messenger says a remarkable land slide took place at Cold Canon, on Monday last, resulting in the death of a man named Jack Smith. A ponderous mass of earth left its resting place of ages, and debouched down the ravine into Canon creek below, a distance of three fourths of a mile, leveling everything in its course, and filling up the mouths of the tunnels, to the serious annoyance of their owners. Smith and a companion were taking a leisurely stroll down to Poker Flat, and were about crossing the ravine, near the foot of the mountain, when the movement of the earth was first discovered by the latter, within thirty feet of where he was standing.
Not being so near the center of its course as his unfortunate companion, he just managed to escape; but poor Jack had no chance to elude its fury, and was instantly buried alive. Nearly twenty-four hours were consumed in exhuming the body of the deceased. So great was the amount of earth slid down that it dammed Canon creek dry for the space of fifteen minutes, notwithstanding the creek was at its highest flood.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3347, 19 December 1861, p. 4
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The colored people of San Francisco have held a meeting for the relief of colored sufferers by the flood in this city. They decided to forward their subscriptions to the Howard Benevolent. Society. . . .
The steamer Pacific is, to-day, four days overdue from Oregon.
Some sixty men are at work on the American river levee at Rabel's Tannery,
and twenty at the point above there, from which the water came into the
city, on the 9th instant. It is thought that by to-night all the water
of the American will be turned into its proper course. . . .
DRAINING.--The ditch dug in Fifth street proves that the city north of
L street can be drained without difficulty. Ditches dug through the center
of three streets, between Front and Ninth, with connecting cross ditches,
would carry off all the surplus water. Those ditches would of course be
cut through J, K and L streets, and substantially bridged; but on the
cross streets they might be left open provided a fence of short posts
and a single plank were put up on each side to keep people out of them.
A ditch in the middle of a street, if to be left open, is greatly to be
preferred to one near the sidewalk, as it leaves the houses on each side
so that they can be approached with wagons. The ordinance offered yesterday
is hardly specific enough; it gives too much unrestricted power to individuals. . . .
EAST WEAVER CREEK.--The flumes of Warren & Rueb, Henry and Sev. Jacobs, and Wilson, Carr & McGowan were completely demolished by the flood last Sunday. The water was much higher than the week previous. The damage cannot fall far short of $10,000. Another length of the East Weaver bridge also went away. . . .
TELEGRAPH TO MONTEREY REPAIRED.-- A telegram from Monterey says the
telelgraph line which was broken at the Salinas river, has been thoroughly
repaired, and is now in fine working order. . . .
LEVEES, RAILROAD, ETC.
It may be very well to call a meeting of citizens to exchange views upon the plan to be adopted for repairing the levees, and removing the railroad to the north side of the city; but we doubt whether many of our citizens are in the possession of the requisite information to enable them to form a judicious opinion as to what should be done under the circumstances. No estimate is had of the practicability or cost of repairing the R street and Thirty-first street levees, or the levee on the American. Before a public meeting can decide understandingly upon the subjects to be considered, it must be placed in possession of the proper data. The question is one of great moment to the people of the city; the future hangs to a great extent upon it; therefore it ought not to be decided upon the impulses which may rule the hour.
The original idea which governed in building the R street levee, was to protect the city against back water from the Sacramento. The year before it was built the water backed up from below Sutterville to such an extent as to inundate the city from the south as high up as K street. The water stood at that level for some three months.
As a protection from similar visitations in the future, the R street levee was erected in 1853. It was at first designed to extend across the slough to the ridge, but upon the suggestion that such a levee would turn the floods of the American into the city, should it break through or overflow the levee east of Thirty-first street, the plan was changed so as to turn the levee this side of the slough, running near its west bank to Thirty-first street, thence north on that street to the American river.
By running that levee along and on this side of the slough, it was intended to give to the city a double protection from the floods of the American, as it was confidently believed that if the levee ever gave way at the head of the slough, as it did last week, the Thirty-first and R street levees would keep it out of the city. And they would have done it, had not the railroad subsequently built a solid embankment from the end of the R street levee to the ridge, which forced the water into the city in spite of the levee on Thirty-first street. One of the main ends for which those levees were built, at a cost of about a hundred thousand dollars, was defeated by the railroad embankment.
The R street levee and the railroad embankment would have protected the city against back water from the Sacramento river.
If further protection from back water is considered necessary, that levee must be repaired, or the streets all brought up to the grade line proposed by Supervisor Hite. If it is not deemed necessary to defend the city against back water the R street levee may be permitted to remain as it is. If that levee is not reopened it will be useless to restore the one on Thirty-first street, as one depends upon the other.
But if the R street levee is condemned, it should be for reasons other than that it confined the water which was forced into the city by the railroad embankment, until every part was submerged. Those who built it, were very well aware that if the water ever came into the city the R street levee would hold it here until it was cut away. But the intention was, not to permit it to get inside.
Experience has demonstrated that, if the money expended on the cross levees had been applied to the building of a levee from Burns' slough, east of Smith's Garden, down the American to I street, sixty feet wide on the surface, and ten feet higher.than the old one, the waters of the American would have been confined to the north side of it for all time. A levee to correspond down I street, and along the bank of the Sacramento to Sutterville, would, in 1853, have effectually protected the city of Sacramento against floods for a time which we shall not offer to limit.
Would not the same character of levee on the American and along the Sacramento protect the city now against the highest flood which may come in a century? Upon this point there is no room for doubt; such a levee as we have described would insure the safety of the city beyond all contingency. Then why not build it? The answer may be because we have not money enough to do that and repair the cross levees, and the objector prefers to repair the Thirty-first and R street levees, if a choice is to be made between doing that and building a strong levee on the American. But cannot both be accomplished? Of course they can if the money is provided. The amount required for such a heavy undertaking has not been estimated.
It might take $100,000 or $150,000. Well, suppose it would, what is $150,000 when compared to the absolute safety of this city from overflow? A quarter of a million would be a light matter when placed in the scale against the existence of a city like Sacramento.
Situated as the people of this city now are--liable as they are to be inundated to a greater or less extent by every rise in the American--the common safety demands that the American be first shut out, and the levee so repaired, raised and strengthened as to keep it out. When that is done the question of repairing the cross levees may be settled at the pleasure of the people.
They can also determine the grade to be adopted for the streets. If a high one is determined upon, cross levees will be rendered comparatively unnecessary. With all our streets two feet above the present level of J, we should have nothing to fear from back water.
The proposition to withdraw the right, of the railroad to come into the city on R street, by Act of the Board of Supervisors, strikes us as neither fair, just, nor manly. It looks like an attempt on the part of a city in distress to benefit by the misfortunes of a railroad company. The city may negotiate with the railroad company, may offer inducements which will make it the interest of the company to change their line from the south to the north side of the city; but it would require months to move, and the cost would probably reach $200,000.
No reliance for defense this Winter can be placed on the railroad, even if it were practicable to move the line. The people must rely on themselves; they must build their own levees and then supervise them. They can never give up the control of one of them to a railroad company. But, if disposed the Board has no power to prevent the railroad from repairing its line and resuming its connection with the city.
If is has forfeited its rights under the ordinance of 1855, the Courts must so decide, and not the Board of Supervisors. If such forfeiture has been worked the Court would enjoin the Company from coming in on the R street levee, unless they obtained another grant. But until such a judgment is rendered no power exists to legally prevent the Company from repairing its line into the city. The Board may demand that it shall be built on trestle work east of the R street levee, and also over the breaks in the R street levee to stand until it shall be determined whether that levee is to be rebuilt.
Legally, the railroad would obtain no legal advantages by repairing its line, which it does now possess. A large portion of its property, including all its locomotives but one, is west of the break in the R street levee, and it would be an outrage to prevent them from connecting. Indeed, the Company would be compelled to make that connection before it could move the track to the north side of the city, were it ever so willing. Uniting the two ends of the road, if not a military, is certainly a railroad necessity.
If disposed, the Board can give the Company the legal six months notice to quit the levee below Sixth street. . . .
RAIN IN NEVADA.--The Democrat says, according to a rain gauge kept
by Ewer, at Grass Valley, the quantity of rain that fell there during the
late storm--commencing on Friday evening, Dec. 6th, and ending on the Monday
morning following--was a trifle over sixteen inches.
One or two rough measurements
were kept in Nevada, indicating a fall of about eighteen inches; and from
information derived from a gentleman who was at Jackson's Ranch during the
storm, the quantity that fell on the summit must have been twice as much
as fell at Nevada.
A correspondent of the same papar, writing from North Bloomfield,
Dec. 12th, adds :
It rained here without intermission for 72 hours--the longest duration of
time, for one continued storm, within my experience in this State. The
largest amount of damage done in this vicinity, I believe, has to be
borne by Marriott, McCaughan & Co., one of their ditch dams being entirely
carried away and damaging the other considerably, besides covering up
their tail flume to a great depth, and sweeping away all the tools
belonging to the company, in the shape of picks, shovels, barrows,
crowbars, sluices, etc. Their loss will amount to fully $500. The Union
Flume, belonging to Walters, Andrews & Co., is also damaged, probably
to the amount of $300 or $400.
FLOOD IN KLAMATH.--An Extra of the Yreka Journal dated
December 11th says:
By the exertions of Alfred Mallett, who swam streams to get here,
with a letter from George W. Sleeper, of Sawyer's Bar, we have
information of the losses on Salmon river, in Klamath county. Life
and property shared in the general whirlpool of destruction. The
first freshet passed off very well, although great damage was done
to many claims, carrying away flumes, wheels, etc. The last freshet
From Sawyer's Bar to the mouth of Russian creek, all the miners have
sustained losses, not only on Salmon river, but also on Eddy's Gulch,
from which we are unable to get any account of the full losses. On
Compromise Gulch, every dam and flume is gone. Every claim at Buckhorn
Bar is filled up, and all the machinery is wrecked or swept away.
At, Stewart's Flat, a gloom pervades, from destruction of life and
property. The place contained seven houses, and the occupants were
obliged to leave for high ground, being surrounded with water. August
Leek, a German, one of the first and best men on the river, was drowned
in attempting to swim to the shore, and swept down the river. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Passenger Suit--Heller Relief Meeting of Colored People--The Broderlck Will Case--John H, Stewart--New York Money Matters--Trade in San Francisco--Death of an old Sacramentan.
. . .
The colored people held a meeting last night to raise funds for colored
sufferers in Sacramento. It was stated that the Howard Association has
indiscriminately given aid to colored and white, and it was resolved to
turn the funds over to the Howard Society, without any special direction
as to employment. A Committee was appointed to make collections among the
colored population. A collection taken at the meeting amounted to $101.
The Committee will report on Friday. . . .
Telegrams from New York to-day announce that the suspension of cash
payments is discussed as the only remedy available. . . .
Steamer Pacific is three days overdue from Oregon. . . .
NO WONDER THERE WAS A FLOOD.--The Sierra Citizen, referring to
the storm at Downieville, gives this statement of the amount of rain fall
in a brief period:
A correct rain gauge of Dr. Kibbe says that in the short period of three
days--from nine o'clock on Friday morning until Monday morning at the
same hour--over twelve and a half inches of rain fell; and on Sunday
over seven inches. In November, 13.59-100, and in December, 14 46-100 inches
fell. It must be borne in mind that when over a foot of rain falls on a
level, the amount rushing from mountain sides, four miles high on either
side, the additional amount which must necessarily accumulate, is
incalculable. . . .
THE LEVEE REPAIRS.--The work of repairing the levee at Rabel's tannery is
progressing quite rapidly. The superintendent, W. Turton, had some sixty
hands, and nine teams with wagons, and eight teams with scrapers, busily
engaged on the work yesterday afternoon. The locality presents a lively
and business like appearance. C. Farley, with about twenty hands, commenced
work at ten o'clock yesterday morning at the head of Burns' slough.
This slough connects with the American river about one mile beyond Smith's
Garden, two miles beyond the tannery, and four miles from the Sacramento
river. This slough runs in a southwesterly direction past Sutter's Fort,
and running west of Poverty Ridge to the low lands above Sutterville. It
has furnished, since the flood, a constant stream of water, so large as
to make a ferry boat necessary at the fort and make fording near Poverty
Ridge quite difficult. The slough is about one hundred feet wide at the river.
The volume of water passing into it is about one foot deep. Two hundred
and fifty gunny sacks were taken out and filled. Theae are placed, along
the line of the embankment, one, two or three abreast, as the case may
require. They are followed up with earth from wheelbarrows. At half past
four o'clock last evening an embankment had been built about half way
across the breach, effectually stopping the current, so far as constructed.
It will doubtless be completed to-day. This work will have the effect of
stopping entirely the water now flowing from that point to Sutterville, at
the present stage of the American river. It will be followed up by a
substantial and permanent levee. The Committee of Safety met at nine
o'clock yesterday morning, and decided to direct their efforts for the
present to the river levees, leaving the cross levees for future action.
In accordance with this line of policy, they will at once set to work three
divisions of men on the American river. The first division at Rabel's,
already, under full headway, have been so far boarded in the vicinity.
For the accommodation of the second division, at Burns' slough, the
erection of a house 37 by 70 feet in size, was commenced yesterday.
The third division will commence between the two, and arrangements
are being made for the use of the Tivoli House for boarding the workmen.
The Committee pay $30 per month and board, for laborers, and, if necessary,
find blankets, and deduct the cost from the wages. They pay for teams--the
driver, two horses and wagon--$5 and board for the driver, he finding
feed for his horses. There have been more men and teams offering than
could so far be engaged.
Many more, however, will be needed in a day or two. . . .
RAILROAD MOVEMENTS.--It seems that the Sacramento Valley Railroad has not
fulfilled its contracts to the letter with the different stage companies.
It was under contract to carry the passengers of the stage companies between
Sacramento and Folsom, as well as the mails. The breaks in the R street
levee and the embankment east of that levee, rendered it impossible for
the cars to run into the city; they were obliged to stop at Brighton,
which is about four miles from Sacramento.
It would be natural to suppose that the railroad company would contrive
some plan to land their passengers both ways in Sacramento, and take
them from the city to the present railroad terminus. But they declined
to do this, and left passengers to get to and from their new depot as
best they might. Such an arrangement did not suit the stage companies.
When they booked passengers to and from Sacramento, and received the
passage money, they felt in honor bound to do what they promised.
Finding that the railroad agent was making no provision for landing
or taking passengers in the city, the agent of the Pioneer and Overland
lines--McLane--immediately put on stages between the city and the present
terminus of the railroad, to accommodate their passengers, and to convey
the mails. To secure his object, McLane was forced to build a flatboat
at the slough for ferry purposes. He has done and is doing work which
ought to have been done by the agent of the railroad company. From
Brighton to Lincoln we hear the cars make regular trips, as per schedule.
We also hear that the only locomotive the Sacramento Valley Railroad
Company have east of the break is the C. K. Garrison, and that said
locomotive is so disabled as to be unfit for use, thus forcing the old
company to rely upon the locomotives of C. L. Wilson, of the California
Central, to perform the service between Brighton, Folsom and Lincoln.
Outside of the city, and north of Brighton, the railroad does not
appear to have been injured by the flood.
RAILROAD MEETING.--The Citizens' Levee Committee, in compliance with the
request of the Board of Supervisors, called a public meeting, to be held
in the County Court room at eleven o'clock yesterday forenoon, to take
into consideration the propriety of removing the railroad to the northern
part of the city. Owing to the short notice given, only a few persons
were present, but the meeting organized by the choice of Dr. Harvey
Houghton for Chairman, and George Rowland, Secretary, and then adjourned
to meet at the same place this (Thursday) evening, at seven o'clock.
Doubtless the meeting this evening will be well attended, as the subject
is one of the greatest importance.
POLICE COURT.--In the Police Court yesterday, the following business was
disposed of by Judge Gilmer: . . . The case of B. Cohn, charged with an
assault on H. Treichler with a shovel, was continued until this morning.
The examination of S. M. Sidell, charged with grand larceny in stealing
$1,100, was continued until to-day.
HOWARD HOSPITAL.--Howard Benevolent Society has established a temporary
hospital in Van Winkle & Duncan's building, on Fourth street, between I
and J streets, for the benefit of the sufferers by the flood who are sick
and unable to provide for themselves. Doctors Harkness, Fray and Montgomery
have charge of it. There are now fourteen inmates in it.
ANOTHER CONTRACT.--The owner of the Bank Exchange, corner of K and Second
street, Mrs. Keenan, has contracted with E. Fell to raise the building
at once. The appearances are decidedly in favor of Second street being
made high and dry. Fell went down yesterday to expedite the speedy shipment
of his hydraulic apparatus.
GOOD TIME.--T. Bradley's stage, of the Accommodation Line, left Placerville
yesterday morning with eleven passengers. It arrived in this city at one
o'clock and forty minutes, beating the railroad passengers by the same
route. Crandall, the driver, says the roads are not the best in the
world, bnt still they are quite passable.
CLEAR EVENING.--We were favored last evening with a clear sky, a full moon, and an invigorating breeze from the northwest. . . .
A PROPOSITION.--There are a number of piles on Front street, near P,
and a pile driver in the American river, at Lisle's bridge. It is
suggested that by bringing both to bear the People's Committee could,
in two days, at a slight cost, with the aid of sacks of brick, etc.,
stop the crevasse above Sutterville. If this could be done, it would
relieve the lower part of the city of a considerable portion of the
water now standing on it.
INSOLVENCY.--George Harvey filed, yesterday, a petition in insolvency
in the District Court. It is stated in the petition that the petitioner
has been a resident of the county for ten years, and has been engaged
recently in keeping the "Mineral Point House." He has lost by fire,
flood, high notes of interest and bad debts, and asks to be discharged
from his debts and liabilities.
SUBSTANTIAL CROSSING.--A new crossing--probably the most substantial
in the city--was laid down yesterday at Seventh and J streets, between
Lindley, Wooster & Weaver's and Sneath & Arnold's corners. It is
constructed of plank ten inches wide and three inches thick, the
center being three planks wide, with an additional side plank on
LICENSE GRANTED.--The Board of Supervisors yesterday
granted a license to the parties who own the ferryboat at Sutter's
Fort to run the same and collect toll. As two bridges are to be built
in the same neighborhood, and as the Committee of Safety has now a
large number of men at work damming the water out of the slough, it
is not likely that there will be much use for the ferry.
MISSING.--A man named James Brown has been missing from San Francisco
for about two weeks. It is presumed that he came to this city, and it
is feared that he may have been lost by the flood of the 9th instant.
He was a native of Ireland, thirty-two years old, wore black whiskers,
and had on a heavy gray coat. . . .
PUMPING.--A large number of pumps are kept going in various portions of
the city, discharging water from the cellars. The pumps generally work
well, and the cellars too. So far as we have observed, it is about an
even thing between them.
DONATION FROM STOCKTON.--M. Conley and H. C. Patrick, who arrived in this
city on the steamer Christina from Stockton, on Tuesday, brought over to
the Howard Benevolent Society $600 in cash, and several hundred dollars
worth of clothing. . . .
SALMON FALLS BRIDGE.--We learn that this
bridge is now fully repaired, and that the travel
over it has been resumed.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18. 1861.
The Board met at ten o'clock A. M., the President in the chair and all
the members present. . . .
Supervisor HITE said he went down the Sacramento river yesterday at the
request of Supervisor Dickerson, and looked at the levee there. He
found it very weak in many places. At one point it was broken away so
that a large stream was running over from the river into the tules, and
at numerous other places it was almost broken away. He was informed that
the Citizens' Committee would repair these places as soon as the river
falls, when it can easily be done. He was also informed that the Committee
now proposed to expend all their money on the levees on the banks of the
Sacramento and American rivers, abandoning the cross levees entirely, and
they desired to learn if that course would meet the approbation of the
Board of Supervisors. It certainly met his approval, and he trusted the
Board would give some expression of opinion upon the subject.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he was hardly prepared for an expression as
definite as that, but would move that the Board concur in any measures
the Citizens' Committee should think proper to adopt
Supervisor RUSSELL said it met his approbation and he would move
that the Board heartily approve of that course.
Supervisor WOODS did not think the Board had any right to take action
on the subject, unless the Citizens' Committee formally communicated
with them, either by petition or in some other manner, so that the
matter could appear on their books.
Supervisor GRANGER thought the proper way would be for the Committee
to ask the Board to appoint a Committee to confer with them, and would
cheerfully vote for such a Committee if it was asked for. A verbal
communication was not sufficient and opinions or advice volunteered
sometimes was not received very gratefully. The public might think
they were still itching to have a hand in the outlay of that money,
and he desired to avoid any such imputation.
Supervisor RUSSELL withdrew his motion.
Supervisor HANSBROW said there was a hereafter to this matter, and if
the citizens wished the advice of the Board, they certainly knew there
was but one way to get at it properly. If the Board was to be implicated
in this matter, there should be something more than a verbal report to
appear on their books.
Supervisor GRANGER suggested that Supervisor Hite represent to the
Citizens' Committee that if they wished it the Board would be willing
to appoint a Committee to confer with them. The people had placed
confidence in that Committee, thinking perhaps that they were more
worthy of confidence than this Board, (he would not discuss the matter
now,) and he, for one, was not disposed to interfere unless called upon.
Supervisor HITE said he had full confidence in the Citizens' Committee,
and thought they had come to their senses. The work they were about to
perform he believed would be the thing that had been desired for years,
and he intended to subscribe all he was able towards prosecuting that
work. He did not intend to stand upon formalities. Yesterday he asked
for a Committee to confer with them, but some thought it would be
sacrificing their dignity, and to-day when the Committee asked if the
Board would approve what they proposed, objection was made that it did
not come in the proper form to please some gentlemen. The plan pleased him
well, and he intended to subscribe and go to work upon it. All he had
was under water this morning, and he wanted to get a sight of it as
soon as possible. If gentlemen would visit the lower part of the city,
which he represented, and which was now all under water, he thought they
would come to the conclusion that this was no time to stand upon
formalities or to exhibit any feeling of jealousy.
Supervisor GRANGER disclaimed any feeling of jealousy, and said,
although he was not a "hardshell," yet he was a little sensitive.
The citizens had preferred to intrust this matter to a Committee, whether
it was because they believed the Committee more competent than this
Board or not; and now, if that Committee wanted to confer with this
Board, let them ask it. He knew there were many who supposed that the
members of this Board had the privilege of going to the public treasury
and helping themselves to whatever they pleased, and that it was only
necessary to be a member to become rich in a short time. He had been
asked repeatedly what they had done with all the money, as if the members
of the Board had access to it. Such was not the case. He would not upon
any point of etiquette throw the least obstacle in the way of the
Citizens' Committee; but in the incipient stage they took this business
upon themselves, the people believing that they were either more honest
or more capable than the Board of Supervisors, which was the legitimate
authority; and though he did not complain of it, he was opposed to
interfering until properly called upon.
The PRESIDENT said there was no motion pending.
Supervisor HALL said he was on the Committee in relation to application
for ferry privilege across the American river, and although he had not
been to the spot he had heard the statements of both parties and several
citizens living in the neighborhood. From all he could learn, he was
rather in favor of granting ferry licenses to both parties for a month
or so. Both claimed the franchise, and the Committee was not able to
decide which was right. He thought it would be for the interest of the
public to have two ferries, and would so report. He was not informed
whether both ferries would run at the same point or not
The PRESIDENT said the same matter was before the Board last year,
and a Committee reported adverse to allowing Norris to establish a ferry.
Supervisor GRANGER said it was not necessary to establish this ferry,
and besides, the Board had no right to do it. Mr. Harris or Mrs. Harris
bought the bridge of Norris, and with it, according to the decisions of
the Supreme Court the bridge franchise, although Norris contended
otherwise. The city, therefore, had no power to grant a ferry franchise
within a mile of the bridge unless the public necessity required it,
which was not the case. Norris' bridge was two miles above, and Harris
& Pearls had established a ferry connecting with the remaining part of
their bridge, so that the public was sufficiently accommodated. Norris'
action was founded on his dislike to Harris rather than any desire to
accommodate the public. When Lisle's bridge was swept away last year,
Norris having the exclusive right of transit, raised his rates 50 per
cent, to the highest limit allowed by the terms of his license. Harris
& Pearls had their bridge franchise from the Legislature, and had
sacrificed $30,000 in two floods, and the Board should not attempt
to interfere with their franchise for the sake of gratifying private
pique. Harris had property here, paid his taxes, and asked for nothing
but what he was legally entitled to.
Supervisor WOODS said Pearls & Harris also raised their rates of toll the
same as Norris did, and only put them down again when compelled to by
the competition of Norris' bridge. They were all alike in trying to
make as much money as possible; nevertheless, he believed Pearls & Harris
had the franchise, and would vote accordingly.
Supervisor HALL said he had no sympathy with either party, but both told
their stories and made out a fair showing. Norris complained that he had
no opportunity to present his proofs before the Board, and he would modify
his report so as to set apart a day at the next meeting for the hearing
or both parties.
Supervisor HITE said he understood Harris had given his notices for a
ferry, and had his boats there now ready to accommodate the travel. It
would be unjust to allow another party to establish a ferry alongside
Supervisor GRANGER said Norris did not own the land on this side of
the American river, and he knew that some days ago wagons did pass by
means of the ferry at Pearls & Harris' bridge.
Supervisor RUSSELL said be had the papers showing that Harris owned six
acres, more or less, on this side of the river.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he had no doubt that Harris had the right,
but he thought courtesy required that a hearing should be granted,
as recommended by the Committee.
The subject was finally assigned for hearing at the first meeting next month.
. . .
Supervisor HITE introduced "an Ordinance for the cleaning and repairing of certain streets."
Sec. 1 makes it the duty of every owner or occupant of any building
fronting on any street that has been filled in and planked or gravelled,
or the owner or possessor of any vacant lot fronting on any such street,
to remove the surface mud from the whole front, from the line of the
sidewalk to the center of the street, and cause the same to be deposited
in some adjacent unfilled street or alley.
Sec. 2 makes it the duty of such owners or occupants to fill up all
holes occurring tn such streets with broken brick, gravel or other
hard substance, to the level of the surrounding surface.
Sec. 3 provides that if any such person shall allow such surface mud
or holes to remain five days after the passage of this ordinance, or
five days after receiving notice from the Chief of Police to remove or
repair the same, he shall be deemed guilty of misdemeanor and punished
by fine of from $5 to $250, or imprisonment from one day to three months,
or both such fine or imprisonment.
Sec 4 requires the Chief of Police to enforce the ordinance.
Supervisor GRANGER moved to amend section 1 by adding "to be designated
by the Superintendent of Public Streets." Adopted.
Supervisor WOODS moved to amend secticn 3 by striking out so much as
related to imprisonment.
Supervisor GRANGER sald it was true that they could not imprison a man
for anything but a criminal offense, nevertheless he saw no objection
to allowing the provision to remain as it was.
Supervise WOODS said it would be of no use, and he hoped it would be
The amendment was adopted and the ordinance was then read a second time
by title, and under suspension of the rule unanimously passed.
Supervisor HITE aald he had another ordinance to introduce relating
SUPERVISOR GRANGER.--Will it drain the city if we pass it?
Supervisor HITE.--We will try it, anyhow.
The CLERK read as follows:
An Ordinance regarding the City Drainage.
The Board of Supervisors of the city and county of Sacramento do
order and ordain as follows:
Section 1. The Special Committee on Drainage is hereby made a Standing
Committee on Drainage.
Sec . 2. Any private individual or individuals are hereby authorized to
cut at their own expense drains or ditches in any street, or alleys, for
the purpose of surface drainage, provided that the center of such ditch
or drain is not more than five feet from the sidewalk; and provided that
where any such ditch or drain crosses any street or alley it shall do so
through a suitable wooden culvert, or sewer, made of redwood plank, having
an iron grating at the upper end, and covered to the level of the surface
of the street or alley; all the material for the constructing of such
crossing sewers to be procured and furnished by the Committee on Drainage,
on the city's account.
Sec. 3 In such places as said Committee may, from time to time, deem
the most important to drain, the chain gang shall perform the work, or
so much thereof as possible, but the Committee shall incur no expense
on behalf of the city except for the drains at the crossings of streets
Sec. 4. It is hereby made a misdemeanor for any person to drive any
vehicle, or drive or ride any animal in any ditch or drain opened under
the provisions of this ordinance, or in any manner whatever to fill in
or destroy any such ditch or drain; and any person who shall be guilty
of any such offense, shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a
fine of not less than $10 nor more than $200, or by imprisonment for
not less than five days nor more than three months, or by both such
fine and imprisonment.
Sec. 5. The Committee on Drainage is hereby authorized to procure
from time to time such materials as may be necessary to construct
the cross drains, including iron grates at the head of each of said
drains, and to make contracts for the necessary carpenter's work
therefor, but not to incur any expense whatever for digging or filling
in said cross drains.
The ordinance was read a second time by title and laid over.
Supervisor HITE also introduced an ordinance concerning the J and K street
bridges. The ordinance establishes the rates of toll on the bridges to be
built across the slough, near the head of J and K streets (the figures are
left blank however), and provides that the Board of Supervisors shall elect
a toll gatherer for each bridge, who shall pay the tolls received to the
City Treasurer, the Treasurer to keep the same in separate funds, to be
known as the J and K Street Bridge funds, and only pay out the same on
warrants drawn on accounts audited by the Board. Read a second time by
title and laid over.
H. Wykoff, Road Overseer of District No. 11, made a statement as to
the condition of the road between the Western House and the Prairie
House. Mining is done on each side of the road, and the rains wash the
stuff into the road, so as to render it impassable. By running the road
in a straighter line, over vacant lands, a bad place could be avoided,
and a better road secured, but in two places bridges would be required
and he asked an appropriation of $75 for lumber to build the bridges.
On motion of Supervisor WOODS, the request was granted.
Supervisor RUSSELLL said P. Bannon, who was running the ferry on K
street, was present, and had submitted to him a proposition for fixing
rates of toll. He thought the rates were too high, and moved instead
that he be allowed to collect: For a man and horse, 10 cents; horse
and wagon, 20 cents; two horses and wagon, 25 cents; four horses and
wagon, 40 cents; each additional animal, 10 cents; foot passengers
to go free; and that Bannon be required to pay for a license $80.
Supervisor HITE asked if that would not interfere with the proposed bridges.
Supervisor RUSSELL replied that the man must take his chances of that.
He was informed that he had been charging much higher rates--half a dollar
for a foot passenger, and from a dollar and a half to three dollars for
a team. He has made money enough to well afford to pay for his license
and take the chance of the bridge being built or the slough dried up.
The motion was agreed to.
Adjourned till ten o'clock to-morrow morning. . . .
RELIEF MEASURES IN MARYSVILLE.--Marysville Appeal of Dec. 18th
says of the damage by flood in that city :
After patient waiting for parties who have been damaged by the late flood
to ascertain their loss, and ascertaining from the parties themselves so
far as has been practicable, the amount of their damage, we have arrived
at what may be considered as a correct sum total of the loss of property
within the city limits from the effects of the late flood, and have
fixed it at $39,150.
The Relief Committee, we understand, have been about among the poor,
and have found some families who have needed relief, but the number is
not large, and the present destitution can be readily alleviated.
Yesterday two cases of blankets and bed comforts were received from
the Howard Association of Sacramento, to whom they had been forwarded
by Heynemann, Pick & Co., of San Francisco, for the relief of the needy
. The Committee concluded that they might, as well be kept, though it
would not have been necessary to send for them, but they can be at once
distributed where needed, and the funds raised be otherwise appropriated.
The amount raised by subscription had reached $1,120 last night, all of
the subscriptions being voluntary, or unsolicited
SECOND FLOOD IN TRINITY.--The Trinity Journal of December 14th,
has a long detail of losses by a second flood in Trinity. The damage
done to property is immense, but cannot be arrived at satisfactorily.
The Journal says:
It becomes our painful duty to chronicle still another flood in Trinity
river--the greatest ever known, even by the Indians, for half a century.
It is impossible as yet to estimate the damages, or to learn the exact
number of lives that have been swept into eternity by the maddened waters.
A sickness of heart seizes us as we pen this article. Several of our
acquaintances and friends, in their attempts to save property and brave
the perils of the flood to deliver news, have perished.
The river, in places where it was confined, raised seventy feet above
low water mark; in other places where it was wide the banks caved and
carried away well cultivated ranches. It became an ocean, spreading from
mountain to mountain--sweeping in its furious and resistless current
farm houses, miners' cabins, mills, men, women and children; in very
truth all that was animate and inanimate. All that the flood of last
week spared, this one swept away. Every single mining improvement on
the river for one hundred miles has been destroyed, and more than one
half the bar and river miners are utterly ruined.
Not a single ranch on the river bank has escaped damage, and many have
been entirely swept away, or ruined by the deposit of sand and tailings.
VERY KIND.--The Marysville Express says:
As it is, we presume there will be no objection to the Capital remaining
at Sacramento, and that no serious effort will be made to have it removed
to another locality, if the people of Sacramento will take proper and
energetic steps to secure the city from the encroachments of the rivers
in future. . . .
PIANOS! PIANOS! PIANOS!
[drawing of a piano] GEO. GREINER BEGS TO
inform the public that, finding it impossible to repair all the Pianos
injured by the late flood by himself alone, he has made arrangements
with Mr. J. ZECH, the celebrated Piano manufacturer of San Francisco,
in order to insure a quick and cheap renovation.
Parties desirous of getting their Pianos repaired in a speedy and thorough
manner, are requested to leave orders at GEO. GREINER'S Rooms,
117 J street (up stairs), as soon as possible.
Mr. ZECH remains for a few days in the city, and will examine damaged
Pianos with Mr. GREINER.
d19-3t . . .
[For the Union. ]
THE LATE FLOOD.
MESSRS. EDITORS: The late destructive flood will be long remembered by
the people of Sacramento. The excitement and consternation attending that
" muddy flow of waters;" the bewildered appearance of those who beheld
their hard-earned homes washed away; the vast sheet of water, covered
with floating timber, costly furniture, and thousands of various articles
constructed by the hands of men, and, it might be said, by the hands
of the "fair sex," too--all hurried to destruction. All this, and much
more, will often recur to the beholders of that sad event. How sudden
was the flow of water through the doors and windows of houses! How many
persons during the flood struggled through water up to necks, who had
heretofore never entered it over ancle [sic] deep.
How many dashing dandies and belles disregarded mud, water and etiquette?
How frequent was the expression "'Tis awful!" exclaimed? and how many
strangers, too, were made familiar friends, on short acquaintance, by
their noble daring, assistance and sympathy? Who ever thought before
that the "hooped angels" of creation could appear so cheerful and display
so much fortitude in the midst of mud, water and danger? Yes, it is the
persuasive smiles and sympathetic graces of lovely woman that impart to
obdurate man courage and goodness of heart. Truly it may be said the
recent "rush of waters" has rushed out the good and the bad feelings of men.
The late inundation of Sacramento will be the means of giving her a better
foundation than she ever had before. She will surely survive this flood;
there are too many millions of money invested here to be permitted to
become a total loss. Money and a little common sense will give her lasting
beauty and prosperity.
The flood has desolated the homes of the poor in our midst; let the humane,
then, new display their humanity; let it be remembered that doing good
to our fellow-men is doing good to ourselves and to our final Judge.
Reader, have you suffered by the great flood? If so--
"Bear thee up bravely,
Strong heart and true,
Meet thy woes bravely,
Strive with them too;
Let them not win from thee
A tear of regret--
Such were a sin for thee,
Hope for good yet"
Sacramento, December 16, 1861. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3348, 20 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The steamer Pacific has arrived at San Francisco from the North, with
news that Oregon has been visited by a most disastrous flood, which
has swept away whole towns and destroyed many human lives. Heavy warm
rains melted the snow on the mountains, as in this State, and the waters
rose to a hight before unknown by any of the present inhabitants of the
country. Washington Territory has also been severely visited by floods.
The waters were still at a high stage when the Pacific left. . . .
The Odd Fellows at San Francisco have contributed liberally to the aid of
their Sacramento brethren who are in distress by reason of the flood.
The Board of Supervisors, at their session yesterday, adopted a resolution,
expressive of the heartfelt thanks of the people of Sacramento, for the
generous aid extended, by the people of San Francisco and Stockton, to
the sufferers by the late inundation.
Resolutions adopted by the Howard Benevolent Association, in reference
to the future distribution of relief, will be found elsewhere; also a
report of the citizens' meeting held last evening. . . .
A BUSINESS PLEDGE.--The following wholesale cigar and tobacco houses in
San Francisco have agreed, in consideration of the general depression in
business caused by the late floods, that they will not commence actions
against any of their customers, except for the benefit of all making the
agreement: Weil & Co., Falkenstein & Co., Eppinger & Co.,
B. C. Horn & Co., Wm. Langerman, J. Frank & Co., A. S. Rosenbaum & Co.,
J. B. Romero & Co., L. & E. Wertheimer, N. Mayblum; St. Losky,
Levy & Co., John A. Drinkhouse & Co., L. Levinson. . . . .
LEVEES AND SWAMP LANDS.
The movements and plans of the Board of Swamp Land Commissioners, so far
as they are connected with reclaiming the district of swamp and overflowed
land lying between this city and the Mokelumne river, are of interest
to the people of Sacramento. The system which the Commissioners have
adopted under the law divides the State into a certain number of districts,
in most of which engineers have been employed to ascertain the number of
acres to be reclaimed, to define the natural boundaries of the district,
point out the line and hight of levee needed, and report an estimate of
cost. After this estimate is submitted, if it is found that the cost will
fall within the number of acres sold at a dollar per acre, the Board, if
it approve the plan submitted, advertises for bids to do the work. Not
over the dollars an acre for which the land sold can be expended for
reclamation purposes in any district. If a district cannot be reclaimed
for the dollar per acre, it must remain unreclaimed, unless the amount
which is lacking is made up by the people living in the district.
The engineer of District No. 2, which is located below Sutterville,
is B. F. Leet, who has submitted his report to the Board. His calculations
are based upon building a levee from Sutterville down the Sacramento, and
by strengthening the levee at Sutterville. This estimate is founded upon
the assumption that the levees above and around Sacramento are ample to
keep the water from encroaching from the American river. Since the late
overflow, it is likely the boundaries of District No. 2 may be so changed
as to include the American river east of Thirty-first street as it is
demonstrated by the late floods that District No. 2 can never be reclaimed
unless protected from overflow by the American river. To the President
of the Board we are indebted for an abstract of the report of engineer
Leet from which we copy as follows
According to the County Surveyor's report in the Surveyor General's office,
the district contains 41,790 acres of swamp land; of which 8,385 acres are
claimed by the United States--leaving 33,403 acres undisputed, which, at
$1 per acre, would give $33,403 for the reclamation of the district.
The cost of engineering and other incidental expenses up to date, is $2,404.37.
The length of levee necessary for the complete reclamation ol the district
will be 37 35-100 miles.
The cost of examination, survey, levels, estimates and other incidentals
up to date, has been a little less than $65 per mile (of levee), or seven
cents and two mills ($0 7.02; per acre.
The legal sum for reclamation is $33,408. The cost of reclamation
(including the cost of engineering to date) will be $32,345.43; which,
when deducted from the whole sum, leaves for future incidentals $1,057.57.
Had not the late flood intervened, the contracts for leveeing this
district would probably have been let by the middle of February. The
surveys are so divided that every man owning land along the river may
take the contract for leveeing his own land.
It will be seen that the length of the line of levee proposed is 37 35-100
miles, running down the Sacramento to a certain point; thence easterly
across Snodgrass' slough, to a high point on the Mokelumne or Cosumnes.
The reason why the people of Sacramento are interested in the building
of this levee on the Sacramento is this: If a firm and strong levee,
two to three feet above the highest water ever known, is built down the
Sacramento to the Georgiana slough, Sacramento can never be troubled
with back water from that river. It would relieve our citizens of all
necessity for rebuilding the R street levee, as there would be no water
to back up into the city. But to build such a levee along the Sacramento
and across to the Cosumnes, without a levee on the American river above
Thirty-first street, would be placing the people in District No. 2 very
much in the position of Sacramento after the water was forced into the
city. This would be surrounded by a levee which would resist the passage
of the water until the whole country was submerged deep enough to drown
stock and float houses. A levee from the Sacramento to the high land
at Sutterville would not protect them, for the moment the water of the
American forced its way through or over the levee, the people of this
city in self-defense would he compelled to cut any levee built at or
near Sutterville. It follows, therefore, that District No. 2 can never
be protected against high water, unless the American river north and
east of this city is made secure by a levee which will set at defiance
floods several feet higher than any experienced since the country was
settled by Americans. The people living in District No. 2 appear, then,
to be as much interested in the levee on the American as are those of
Sacramento. Their safety is to be secured by the levee on the river east
of Thirty-first street. The estimate for building a levee 37 35-100 miles
in length is $32,345.43. The sum in the treasury, subject to draft for
the work, is $33,403.00; if the District is extended to the American
river, the fund will be insufficient, unless made up in the District by
subscription. There is, therefore, but little hope of obtaining any
immediate aid from the Swamp and Overflowed Land fund, except, as before
remarked, indirectly by the building of a good and sufficient levee along
the Sacramento river. Such a levee will materially aid the city,
because it would relieve it of all danger from back water. The people
of the city should, as they will, protect themselves against another
overflow from the American, and in doing so they will necessarily protect
the people in District No. 2. If the people living in that District, or
the Board of Land Commissioners are able to assist them in the good work,
it will be gratefully received. But with or without aid, the work must be
done, and from the movements of the Citizens' Committee we may safely say
will be done. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Agitation of the Sunday Law Question--Odd Fellows' Relief Fund.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19th.
. . .
Five Odd Fellows' Lodges have contributed $721 to the Sacramento Relief
Fund. Two Lodges have yet to report. . . .
Arrival from the North--Terrible Flood ln Oregon--Whole Towns Swept Away--Distressing Particulars--New Mines, etc.
The steamer Pacific has arrived from the North; she was detained by heavy
weather. . . .
There has been a terrible flood in Willamette Valley. The most important
mills in Oregon have been destroyed, together with a vast amount of grain;
in consequence of which there is a material advance in the price of flour.
The flood commenced on the 1st of December, and reached its highest point
on the 6th. It then gradually subsided until the 10th, when it rose again
three feet in a few hours. Two new wharves at Portland were carried away.
The lower portion of the town was under water. The saw mills lost 2,000,000
feet of logs. The water had been four feet deep in Miner street, Oregon
City. All the houses in Linn City were carried away. Houses were seen
going over the falls during two or three nights, with lights still burning
in them. All the houses at Champoeg were washed away; some of the
inhabitants took refuge in the tops of trees. The steamer Onward rescued
forty persons on the 5th of December. The great breakwater at Oregon
City is destroyed, necessitating a land portage of one mile. The roads
in every direction are impassable for vehicles. Every town on the
Willamette has suffered terribly, and ths [sic] loss of life must be very
great. Many families were rescued from the roofs of houses and barns
that had floated off. A small side-wheel steamer, under steam, went
over the falls on the 5th. Eugene City and Corvallis were reported to
have disappeared. As the latter is located on high ground, the report is
questioned. The flood was higher than ever known since the settlement
of Oregon, though it is said a similar one was once witnessed by
Canadian trappers. The rain had been continuous and warm, melting
the snow on the cascades. At latest account the flood was still up.
All the bridges in Yamhill county are gone. Many farmers have lost all
There had been high water in Washington Territory. The bridge between
Steilacoom and Olympia was carried away. . . .
AID TO SACRAMENTO SUFFERERS.--All day long yesterday the ladies continued
in their good work of cutting and sewing for the people of Sacramento
rendered destitute in consequence of the recent flood. Most of the
remaining garments were shipped to that city on last evening's boat.
The residue will go forward to-day. The citizens of the Capital, through
the press, have already acknowledged with gratitude the timely aid
rendered them by the very liberal donations of money and clothing already
received. And we doubt not the ladies will come in for their share of
thanks so richly deserved, for contributing so handsomely to the wants
of the needy in our sister city,--Alta, Nov. 18th. [sic]
We have already made mention of the benevolent zeal of the ladies of the
Bay City, and intend, as soon as the officers of the Howard Association
can furnish us with a list, to publish the names of all who have so
nobly resposded to the calls for aid to the sufferers by the flood. We
have several times applied for the list, but the humane labors of all
connected with the Association have so engrossed their time, that they
have been unable as yet to furnish it. We hope to publish the whole very soon.
REMOVING THE CAPITAL.--The Placerville Republican thus comments on
the proposition of a few narrow minded journals for removing the State
For our part, and in behalf of the people of this county, who would scorn
to take advantage of a sister city's distress, we earnestly protest against
this cry of removing the Capital from Sacramento. If Sacramento were not
the best place for the Capital no generous man would seek to add to the
distress of a people already struggling under a fearful burden by taking
another prop from under their falling fortunes. The people of Sacramento
are as liberal and public spirited as any community in the State. Fire
and flood cannot paralyze their energy, Their answer to every appeal for
a public benefit has ever been prompt and liberal; their charities have
been as numerous as the suffering that called for their exercise.
This flood, the highest ever known in the State, will in all probability
never again be repeated. The Government buildings have not been injured
by it to any extent, and with the construction of new levees the danger
of further inundation will be effectually provided against hereafter.
To revive the project of removing the Capital now is cruel and unnecessary . . .
The meeting of citizens, called to consider the subject of the removal of
the railroad to the northern part of the city, re-assambled at the County
Court room at seven o'clock last evening. The Court room was compactly
crowded and the meeting was quite animated.
Dr. HARVEY HOUGHTON called the meeting to order, saying that he considered
that he was only chosen temporary Chairman at the last meeting which
adjourned to that evening, and supposed the President of the Board of
Supervisors or Chairman of the Citizens' Committee would be here to-night.
However, somebody must preside, and perhaps he might as well. The objects
of the meeting were he understood to appoint a Committee of citizens to
confer with the authorities of the Railroad Company in reference to the
removal of the railroad to the northern part of the city, and such other
objects as might properly be suggested. This work, if it could be consummated,
would be very desirable. A levee must be made that will effectually
protect the city for all time to come, and he felt that if it was
neccessary to give half his property for that purpose, the remaining
half would be worth more than the whole without it. Eight millions of
property here must be protected. The Railroad Company had, doubtless,
violated its charter. One question would be, how much, if anything,
would the city give to aid in putting the railroad on the north side?
He waited for any proposition.
B. C. WHITING said while the wealthy property holders were deliberating,
and waiting for one another, he would try to make some practical
suggestions. He had called on J Mora Moss, President of the railroad,
in San Francisco, had a long talk with him on this subject, and found
he was favorable to the idea of removing the railroad to the northern
part of the city, starting in near the Water Works, and bearing around
in the vicinity of Agricultural Park so as to run passenger cars there
during the Fairs. That was an argument which would touch even a soulless
corporation. But Moss thought it would cost a pile of money, and seemed
to think it was important to propitiate Robinson, who knew all about
Sacramento and the interests of the railroad, and in whom the stockholders
had confidence. He (Whiting) thought the citizens would subscribe
liberally for the purpose, and perhaps the Legislature would appropriate
something, but condemned the peevish threat of Robinson to take the
railroad to Sutterville. That was like the boy that threatened, if his
mother did not let him have his way, he would go and catch the measles.
But it was too late now to find fault with the railroad, since the horse
was stolen; let them look out for the future.
Judge H. O. BEATTY desired also to make some practical suggestions. All
agreed that the safety of the city required a strong and high levee along
the American river. How should it be built? His opinion was that it would
do no good to have the railroad there, for the railroad's interests were
not the city's interests. They would not want a high grade nor a broad
levee, and a better plan would be a broad levee and a good wagon road on
the top of it. A railroad resting on timbers would not settle a levee as
much as heavy wagons on a road, especially one constantly traveled. Make
it four feet higher than this last flood and it would never be overflowed.
Double the quantity of water in the American would not raise it four feet,
because it would have to flow over miles and miles of broad plains. On I
street the levee need not be raised over two feet. He would make it thirty
feet wide at the surface, and the work could be done for forty to sixty
thousand dollars. The present levee was built clumsily, too high in some
places and too low in others. In some places on Thirty-first street it
was overflowed at its natural hight, and in others it had been cut down
by roads crossing it. He estimated that a levee on the American, such as
he proposed, would requlre 120,000 or 180,000 additional cubic yards of
earth, which would cost at this season some fifty cents per yard, but at
a proper season not more than twenty or thirty cents. The railroad would
not want its track so high. He would not waste money on the Thirty-first
and R street levees, but as they were already built, and could be repaired
for from $7,000 to $10,000, he said repair them, just to guard against
the possibility of accidents from gopher holes or otherwise. That brought
him to the R street levee, where the railroad was bound to come into
the city, and where it could come in cheaper than anywhere else.
A VOICE--Oh, you are a railroad man [Hisses.]
Judge BEATTY said he was not a railroad man and had no interest in it.
He charged the railroad with having destroyed the city. [Applause] It
had done the mischief, and if they could make it help repair the mischief
let them do so. [Applause.]
VOICE--They won't do a thing. [Confusion.]
Judge BEATTY said they could require the railroad to have an open
trestle work from the Point of Poverty Ridge to the junction of the levee.
VOICE--They did it once--Oh!
Judge BEATTY replied that they didn't. They had a narrow place open there,
and he exerted his influence and got the Mayor to promise to veto the bill
unless they agreed to open it all the way. He wanted to make them do it now;
then repair the R street levee, filling it in solid to protect against the
possibility of back water, and have a wagon road below the railroad to
strengthen it. He would have the railroad raise the R street levee a few
J. A. DUFFY--Do you honestly think, Judge, that the Railroad Company will
Judge BEATTY honestly thought the city had the means to compel them.
The city ought to sue the railroad for the damage done, unless it would
act. In his opinion, as a lawyer, the railroad was liable for all the
damage done. [Great applause, and a fusilade of questions. A Voice--That
would swamp them.] He could not answer forty questions at once, but if
the railroad was obstinate, he was for suing the railroad. [More applause,
and calls for Dr. Morse.] That was all be proposed to say.
Dr. J. F. MORSE rose ln response to calls, and remonstrated against what
seemed to be a disposition to treat gentlemen with discourteous
interruptions. He agreed emphatically and almost entirely with Judge
Beatty, having come independently to pretty muoh the same conclusions.
He spoke of the heavy responsibility resting on the Railroad Company for
the great calamity which had befallen the city, and the terrible amount
of suffering it had brought on hundreds of families. Had the flood come
at dead of night hundreds of lives would have been sacrificed, and all,
as he saw it stated in a San Francisco paper by a writer who apparently
sought to vindicate the railroad, because filling in with earth was
estimated to be $100 cheaper than trestle work. That was the contemptible
consideration which had wrought all this ruin and suffering. [Applause.]
And yet, with a flippancy that would excite the disgust of a popinjay,
the threat was made, that unless they had their own way, they would go
to Sutterville. ["Good bye," "Let 'em go."'] But he agreed to Judge Beatty's
plan, because the railroad could be held responsible for its misdeeds,
and he would do no act which could be construed into condonance. He would
not touch it with a forty foot pole. They had been not only ungrateful,
but absolutely oppressive. All sorts of favors had been heaped upon them,
and yet they had adopted a rule, he was informed, by which citizens of
Sacramento were compelled to pay $3 a ton for the transportation of
granite, while citizens of San Francisco paid only half as much. Let
them stop at Brighton, or go to Sutterville if they wanted to, and let
them rebuild their road and go to earning money to repay the damages they
had caused. Let the city build and maintain its own levee, and let the
railroad go where it pleased.
CHARLES CROCKER said all the overflows had come from the American river,
and that was the point to which they had to turn their attention. He, too,
agreed with Judge Beatty, and was opposed to having any partnership with
the railroad. They wanted the levee under their own control, so that if
it should prove to be necessary to raise it higher at any time, they could
do it without consulting the adverse interests of any railroad. They had
been trying too long to get other people to do something for them, and
now let them go to work and build their own levee, and build it strong,
broad and high. He was willing to put his hand in his pockets as deep as
any man, according to his means, and have the thing done as as [sic] it
should be, but he wanted nothing to do with the Railroad. Mr. Robinson
had endeavored to explain to him that the gap in the R street levee was
not sufficient, and the city would have been flooded just the same if
the trestle work had remained [VOICE--Lies like h--] but he did not
believe it. He believed if it had been kept open there would have been
but little water--perhaps three or four feet--in the lowest streets,
Yet he did not war upon railroads. He said give them all the facilities
possible, but do not go into partnership with them in the levee business.
He would not give them a red cent, but would not put anything in the way
of their going down R street to the river, where they must go. [Hisses.]
Supervisor HANSBROW--Are you in favor of the railroad keeping the whole
city front as it always has? ["That's It!" "Pitch In!"]
Mr. CROCKER replied that his experience was that everywhere railroads did
connect with navigation, and they ought to be allowed to. ["Nol No!" and
Supervisor HANSBROW--Did you ever see one fronting a whole city?
Mr. CROCKER replied that that was not the question here; the question
was whether the city should go into partnership with the railroad in
building a levee along the northern side of the city. The city could
and should do it alone; eight millions of dollars would protect itself.
The Committee had raised a little over $50,000 already, with a fair
prospect of making it $60,000, and if that was not enough they could
get more. The right spirit was aroused.
B. C. WHITING deprecated these wholesale denunciatlons of the railroad;
they would do no good in a meeting like that, better leave these legal
questions to be argued by paid attorneys in the Courts. When the present
levee was built, many men were made paupers by taking their lands without
compensation. ["That's so"] Had they considered where all these thousands
of cubic yards of earth were to come from? They wanted it high and
broad--oh, yes--but that took money and vast amounts of earth, and acres
of hard gravel on the top, if the levee was to be good for anything.
A railroad could bring the material cheaper than any body else, and it
was bad policy to denounce the railroad, and make inflammatory speeches
about it and its legal liabllity, when they might want to make arrangements
with it. Let them agree upon the best plan, and then go to work like men.
Supervisor HANSBROW explained that the object of his asking a question of
Mr. Crocker was to get an expression of this meeting, and especially the
working class, in regard to the ordinance passed by the Board of
Supervisors that day to exclude the railroad below Sixth street. If
the meeting was of the same opinion as Mr. Crocker, he would be in
favor of repealing that ordinance. He considered the railroad on Front
street as one of the greatest nuisances. [Applause ] It had kept truckmen
and hackmen out of their employment, and he had opposed the monopoly.
He wanted an expression, though he did not think it would be proper for
him to participate in the meeting.
J. H. WARWICK said opinions seemed to be pretty much all one way, and he
was sorry to differ with distinguished and honorable gentlemen, but he
was in favor of making the railroad build the levee. That was the policy
of the city of Chicago when she made a railroad company build a breakwater
to protect the front of that city, Gentlemen had magnified the difficulties.
Sixty feet to a mile was not a difficult grade, but to run the railroad on
a high levee they would not require more than a grade of six or eight feet,
and on I street the road would only terminate at the height of the I street
levee, not high enough to require ladders. He agreed with Hansbrow that
the railroad, on Front street was a nuisance. His experience was that
railroads were seldom or never allowed to run to terminate at a water
side, and he instanced the Hudson River Railroad, in New York, and the
railroads terminating in Boston. . [Voices in the crowd instance a score
of others amid confusion and mirth.] This Winter the Placerville railroad
would apply for a franchise, and he thought it would be a good plan to
let the two tracks come in parallel, but fifty feet apart. Then they could
fix the grade high enough and have two splendid levees, and fill in between
them hereafter if necessary.
ANDY BLACK said there had been much talk, but he hadn't heard a word yet
to benefit the city. He was opposed to the railroad, but the Supervisors
of Sacramento county were to blame for this flood, [Applause ] As our
agents, they didn't look after our interest, and keep the railroad from
filling in, and now they passed an ordinance to protect us after our
property is destroyed. In his opinion, they were a set of poor, miserable
old grannies. He could refer to old Mayors and Councilmen like
B. B. Redding, Mr. Dyer, Lorenzo Hamilton and Jas. R. Hardenbergh wbo wonld
do more for the city in a day than all of these old grannies would in
twenty years. [Laughter.] Then they had everything right; now it was all
wrong, and he called upon Mr. Warwick as Representative elect--and he
barred poltics in this public meeting--to go for repealing the
Consolidation Act, so as to have men at the fore who would be
looking for something besides their mileage and per diem.
A VOICE--What did you fellows vote 'em in for?
A BLACK.--I will tell yeu; It was ignorance, that is the reason
[laughter]; but there is a day of reckoning coming.
C. CROCKER suggested that Mayor Hardenbergh was not the man that allowed
the company to dam up the levee.
A. BLACK continued in the same strain at some length, amid applause and
Supervisor HITE was called for, and gave his views as to the proper mode
of constructing levees, etc.
Supervisor HANSBROW said, after the remarks of A. Black he deemed it
necessary to explain to the meeting that the gap in the railroad was
stopped up long before the organization of the present set of old grannies.
Judge BEATTY gave his estimate of the plan suggested by him more in detail.
The distance from Burns' slough, above Smith's Garden, was 6.000 yards,
or about three miles and two-thirds, and he made it that to raise a levee
as it should be, and make it thirty feet broad on top, would take 120.000
or 180,000 cubic feet.
C. CROCKER moved that it be declared the sense of this meeting that the
city build its own levee on the north side without copartnership with
the Railroad Company.
B. O. HAMILTON made some remarks about the proper mode of guarding
levees and taking care in the rainy season that all necessary repairs
were made. Plenty of gravel, etc., could be obtained from the bed of
the American river in Summer as cheaply as if it were brought in by
Judge BEATTY moved to modify Mr. Crocker's motion so as to instruct
the Citizens Commlttee to go on and construct the northern levee
without waiting for negotiations with anybody.
Mr. CROCKER accepted the modification, and the motion was carried,
with only a weak dissenting voice.
J. H. WARWICK moved that this meeting indorse the action of the Board
of Supervisors to-day, in repealing the privilege of the Railroad Company
to go below Sixth street. Adopted enthusiastically.
D. W. WELTY--I move that it be the sense of this meeting that the
Consolidation Bill be repealed.
Dr. MORSE and C. CROCKER objected that the meeting was not called for
such a purpose.
FRANK HEREFORD suggested a modification that the meeting declare in
favor of amending the Consolidation Bill, so far as to dissolve the
connection between the city and the county.
Mr. WELTY accepted the amendment, and the motion as amended was carried
by a large vote.
E. P. PECK announced that Burns' slough would be passable to-day.
[Applause and laughter.]
J. H. WARWICK--I move that the thanks of the citizens of Sacramento,
represented in this meeting, be tendered to the citizens of San Francisco
and Stockton, for the noble and generous manner in which they have
respended to our necessities in these hours of our misfortune and
disaster. Carried unanimously, amid great applause.
The meeting then adjourned.
HOWARD BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION.
At a meeting of the active members of the Association, held Dec. 19th,
the following resolutions were adopted :
Resolved, That the sessions of the Investigating Committee in
Agricultural Hall be discontinued, and the register of grants issued by
them be transferred to the Distributing Committee or the Stewards of the
Society, under their supervision.
Resolved, That no more certificates or grants for relief be filled
by the Distributing Committee or the Stewards, unless the same be signed
by some one of the undersigned thirty active members of the Society; such
certificate to state specifically the kind and amount of articles
recommended to be furnished; that the signer has personally investigated
the case, and found the applicant worthy; and whether the application be
an original one, or in addition to one previously relieved; provided,
that any three members present at the place and time of distribution
consenting, any recommendation may be modified or enlarged.
Resolved, That all persons knowing or hearing of families or
individuals in destitution or distress on account of the recent flood,
are urgently requested to make the same known to some one of the
foregoing named members of the Society.
R. T. BROWN, Secretary.
George W. Mowe, Front st,; L. A. Booth, J st; James
P. Robinson, Front st.; John McNeill, cor J and 7th;
J. K. Selden, K. between 2d and 3d; N. A. H. Ball,
Agricultural Hall; John H. Carroll, Front at; Charles
Robin, J, between 6th and 7th; W. P. Coleman; H. W.
Harkness, K, between 2d and 3d; Joseph W. Winans,
J, cor 3d, Gecrge I Lytle, K, corner 4th; Samuel Cross,
K, between 6th and 7th; T. M. Lindley, J, corner 7th;
P. H. Russell, J, between 7th and 8th; Theo. Milliken,
J, between 6th and 7th; F. A. Gibbs, 7th, between I and
J; Joseph M. Frey, K, corner 4th; Richard Dale, J,
between 6th and 7th; Edgar Mills, J, between 2d and 3d;
N. Greene Curtis, 6th, between I and J; R. T. Brown,
J, between 3d and 4th; D. O. Mills, J, between 3d and
4th; O. D. Lambard, I, between 1st and 2d; A. M.
Hayden, at Wells, Fargo & Co; Rev; W. H. Hill, 7th,
between G and H; Dr. J. F. Montgomery, corner J and
7th ; A. G. Richardson, at Wells, Fargo & Co.; Lew B.
Harris, Ridge; N. L. Drew, 8d, between N and O. . . .
PROTECTION FROM OVERFLOW.--The Nevada Transcript has the following:
The Legislature of the State will assemble in a few days, either at
Sacramento or some dryer spot. No more important subject can possibly
be presented to the two Houses than the condition of the valleys of the
State subject to overflow. We are decidedly of the opinion that the
leveeing of the valuable lands of the State should be made a question
of State policy. The Legislature can do no wiser act than to make an
appropriation for the purpose of a scientific survey of these lands and
to procure a report from some competent authority upon the best mode of
protecting them against future ravages.
THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY RAILROAD.--The Placerville Republican has
The Sacramento Valley Railroad, through whose parsimony and negligence
the inundation of Sacramento occurred, in consequence of their filling
up their road bed with gravel, in place of building trestle work, as
the terms of their charter demanded, have not--although the heaviest
tax payers of the city--subscribed a dollar toward the fund for repairing
the levees. It is said that a number of lawsuits will be commenced against
them by parties who have suffered damage from the flood. . . .
HEADS UP AND OUT OF WATER!
C. C. WARNER & CO. HAVING
had their store washed out! can furnish as dry GROCERIES as ever. Goods delivered EVERYWHERE. If our wagon cannot reach you a boat will!
C.C. WARNER & CO,
d20-1n3dp corner J and Ninth streets. . . .
POLICE COURT.--. . . The case of B. Cohn, charged with assault and
battery on Henry Treichler, was tried by a jury. The testimony proved
that a quarrel arose from an attempt of the prosecuting witness and
others to drain the water from their premises. Cohn thought his own
property endangered thereby, and struck Treichler on the head with a shovel.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty.
The case of Samuel M. Slidell,
charged with grand larceny, in stealing $1,100 belonging to W. Belzteal,
was taken up for examination. W. H. Weeks, L. S. Foote and M. C. Tilden
appeared as counsel for the prosecution, and J. C. Goods for the defense.
After a partial investigation of the case, the Court took a recess, and
reassembled at two o'clock, P. M. A large number of witnesses were examined.
W. Belzteal resides between this city and Sutterville. According to his
testimony he had had the money buried under an out shed, in a salt sack.
He had not seen it for some time, and about the time of the flood, when
he concluded to remove it, he found it gone. On informing Slidell, who
had resided with him for some time, of the fact, and showing him where
it had been buried, the latter stated that that was where his money had
been buried, and if he had not removed it, it would have been lost also.
Slidell then showed witness a yeast-powder can, containing several hundred
dollars of gold coin--$20 pieces, stained and marked as were those of the
witness when he saw them last. He had seen the defendant have gold coin
in his possession on a former occasion, but of smaller size than those
designated. The defense proved good character, and also introduced
testimony to show where the defendant had received from Friend & Terry
and others, for labor, a greater sum than the $350 found in his possession
when arrested. The case was argued by W. H Weeks for the prosecution,
and J. C. Goods for the defense, and taken under advisement by the Court.
THE NIGHT OF DANGER.--Reference has been made on one or two occasions to
the efforts made by the residents at and near Rabel's Tannery, on the night
before the late flood, to prevent the waters of the American from breaking
through the levee and flooding the city. The facts are as follows: The
steady rain of Sunday afternoon, and the rise in the river, caused them
to keep out a guard all night to give the alarm if danger should approach.
At about two o'clock on Monday morning it seemed probable that the levee
would give way, and all hands were called from their beds. Frank Rabel,
W. C. Hopping, T. R. Stewart and Thos. O'Brien, with all their hired
men--about a dozen, all told--were busily employed from that hour until
morning. In repeated instances the water started over the embankment,
and would, of course, in a few minutes, have become ungovernable. The
men had provided and filled sacks with earth, by which means the water
was checked. In very many cases the water would start in streams through
gopher holes. These were stopped by wrapping canvas around stakes and
driving them in the holes. The struggle between the workmen and the
torrent until morning was an exciting one, and for a long time of
doubtful result. Had the workmen failed, we should have had the flood
in the night instead of the daytime. We should have had a direct
torrent through the heart of the city instead of a circuitous and
weakened current of back water. Instead of soiled clothes, and injured
property, and pecuniary loss, we should undoubtedly have had great
loss of life in our midst, and the death of friends and relatives
to bewail. The disaster was light compared with what it might have been.
THE NEW LEVEES.--There is undoubtedly a right and a wrong way of
constructing a levee. It is asserted, with a great deal of reason,
that our old levees on the river bank have not been properly built,
as they present an abrupt front to the water. The result is, that where
the bank commences to work away, the water causes the earth to cave very
readily, and the work of destruction is soon completed. Such has been
the action of the water on the levee at Rabel's tannery, and at the weak
point below R street. By setting the levee back from the water a rod or
two, and presenting a gradual slope, it is contended that any advantages
will be secured. The surface becomes hardened, and resists the action
of the water, and the force of the water is broken by the angle. On a
sloping embankment another result is secured. The freshets deposit
annually large quantities of dirt, which may be used for strengthening,
widening, elevating and repairing the levees. Ranchmen of forethought
and energy, in Yolo county, have for years, in this manner, secured
annually hundreds of loads of earth, for elevating the ground on which
their buildings are located. If there is anything to be lost or gained
by the specific arrangement or particular slope of the levee, the matter
should be well considered before the new improvements progress too far.
SAVED BY A DOG.--On the day of the flood, James Kyle, a carpenter residing
on P street, between Ninth and Tenth streets, found his wife and children
when he reached them, on the roof of the house, to which point they had
been driven to preserve their lives. They were gotten off with great
difficulty. At one time a child two years old fell into the water and
passed ont of reach. The favorite dog "Nip " caught the child and held
it above water until the father was enabled to get to it. Subsequently
the foundations of the house, a one story brick, gave way, and the
building fell to a mass of ruins.
DRAINAGE.--At half past five o'clock last evening the water was let into
the main sewer which has just been constructed across Seventh street, at
the alley between K and L streets. The water-way is about two feet by
two and a half feet in the clear. It is thought by B. F. Leet, who has
charge of the work of drainage in that part of the town, that by
to-morrow night the water north of J Street and between Seventh and
Tenth streets, will be drained off two or three feet below its present
MORE AID FROM SAN FRANCISCO.--The General Relief Committee of the Order
of Odd Fellows of this city received yesterday from San Francisco the
sum of $350 for the benefit of sufferers by the late flood. Of this
amount $100 came from California Lodge, No. 1; $150 from Bay City Lodge,
No. --, and $100 from Harmony Lodge, #13. It is gratefully received and
will be duly appropriated. . . .
LET THERE BE LIGHT.--There are many points in the city at which the
sidewalks are out of order. Excavations are made, ditches are dug, etc.,
etc., which are exceedingly dangerous in the night to pedestrians. Can
not provision be made by the Board of Supervisors for lighting them up
temporarily, until repairs are completed?
SAFETY OF THE CITY.--The collections of the Committee who have it in
charge to procure subscriptions for the purpose of protecting the city,
had collected, up to last evening, a sum somewhat exceeding $50,000.
The names of the subscribers will be published in a few days.
RAILROAD REPAIRS.--A portion of a lot of heavy timber, twelve by twelve
inches, and forty or fifty feet long, was removed yesterday afternoon
from Front street, near L, to the railroad near Brighton. It will be
used for repairing railroad at the eastern breach.
LISLE'S BRIDGE.--Workmen were engaged yesterday at the levee on First
street in taking apart the sections of Lisle's bridge which had floated
down the American river and lodged near the Water Works. The timbers are
being hauled back to the bridge to be used in its reconstruction. . . .
UNTIL TO-DAY.--The Board of Supervisors will receive until 12 o'clock today,
sealed proposals for building bridges at J and K streets, near Sutter's Fort.
THE COST.--It is estimated that the levee improvement at Rabel's Tandery [sic],
now in progress of construction, will cost about $4,000.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
TUESDAY, December 19, 1861.
The Board met at half past ten o'clock A. M., President Shattuck in
the chair, and all the members present. . . .
A. D. RIGHTMIRE presented his vouchers of expenses incurred in connection
with his contract for building a bulkhead at Rabel's tannery. The total
amount expended was $1,302.25. [?]
Supervisor GRANGER offered a resolution that the contract be, and the
same is hereby cancelled and declared null and void, and that his bond
be delivered to him. Adopted unanimously.
Supervisor GRANGER said they ought to take measures immediately for
reimbursing Mr. Rightmire. He supposed the best way would be to give
him city scrip equal to the value in cash.
A. D. RIGHTMIRE said be had been trying to find out what the city scrip
was worth, and could not find anybody who was willing to take it now at
Supervisor HANSBROW said be understood there were partes who would take
the scrip at twenty five per cent, but he was opposed to having this
Board set any such price on it. He would prefer the appointment of a
Committee to negotiate or raise the money in some manner. He thought
the Citizens' Committee might advance it upon proper representations.
Supervisor GRANGER moved that the President of the Board act as a
Committee to lay the matter before the Citizens' Committee. The motion was
amended so as to require the Finance Committee, together with the President,
to confer with the Citizens' Committee on the subject, and then adopted.
Supervisor RUSSELL moved that the action previously taken by the Board,
authorizing the construction of Hardenbergh's Sewer, from the St. George
Hotel to the slough, be rescinded. Carried. . . .
Supervisor HANSBROW introduced the following, wblch was adopted unanimously :
Whereas, the city of Sacramento has again been visited by a most
destructive flood, which has caused much suffering in our midst, and
which calls earnestly for relief from all who might have it in their
power, and whereas, the citizens of San Francisco and Stockton have
most nobly, and unsolicited on our part, come to our relief in this,
our time of need, by contributions in money, clothlng and food, with
a liberalty never before equalled and in consequence of which much
suffering has been averted; therefore,
Resolved, That this Board, as the representative of the people
of Sacramento do return to them their heartfelt thanks, and we feel
and acknowledge ourselves under lasting obligations, which we fear it
will never be in our power to repay. We can only pray that God will
prosper the communities who have performed such noble works of charity. . . .
Supervisor HANSBROW said he was informed by the Chief Engineer that
two cisterns had been entirely destroyed by the flood, and another
badly damaged, He therefore moved that the Chief Engineer be instructed
to make such repairs as may be necessary on all the cisterns throughout
the city. Adopted.
Supervisor HANSBROW introduced the following :
An Ordinance relating to the Privileges of the Sacramento Valley Railroad.
The Board of Supervisors of the city and county of Sacramento do order and
ordain as follows :
Section 1. So much of any ordinance or ordinances heretofore passed by
the late Mayor and Common Council of the city of Sacramento, or by the
Board of Supervisors of the city and county of Sacramento, as grant to
the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company the privilege of bringing their
road west of Sixth street, or using any street or part of any street
west of Sixth street for railroad purposes, are hereby repealed.
Sec. 2. The Sacramento Valley Railroad Company is hereby notified to
forthwith remove their road from Front Street, the Sacramento river
levee, and all that part of R street west of Sixth street.
Sec. 3. The Clerk of this Board shall deliver a certified copy of
this ordinance to the proper officer or officers of the Sacramento
Valley Railroad Company.
Sec. 4. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after
Supervisor HANSBROW said he understood there was some objection to
putting the ordinance on its passage to-day, but he could see no reason
Supervisor GRANGER said he should vote against suspending the rules for
that purpose, because there was to be a citizens' meeting to-night on the
subject of removing the railroad, and he preferred to wait for an expression
of opinion from them.
The ordinance was laid over for the present.
Supervisor HITE moved that the time for receiving bids for the brldges
on K and J streets be extended until to-morrow (Friday) at twelve o'clock,
and that the Clerk advertise accordingly. Carried.
Supervisor HANSBROW asked if the country members could be here to-morrow
to vote on the ordinance introduced by him relative to the privileges of
the Sacramento Valley Railroad,
Supervisor DICKERSON replied that he would be here.
Supervisor WOODS said he could not be here, and he was sorry to see the city
members of this Board so weak minded. Here was a plain duty for them to
perform, and they ought not to wait to have the people act for them. When he
saw such an exhibition he thought it was no wonder that the people rose en
masse and appointed Committees.
Supervisor RUSSELL said the ordinance did not go far enough to suit him.
He would prefer that they should should [sic] not allow the railroad to
come into the city at all in that direction.
Supervisor GRANGER said the Board had asked for the calling of the citizens'
meeting on this very subject, and it would be discourteous and unjust to
take action before that meeting had expressed its views.
Supervisor HANSBROW said the meetlng was called only to consider whether
the railroad by negotiation or otherwise should be compelled to come
into the northern part of the city. This ordinance had nothing to do
with it; it only took away the privilege heretofore granted, to go to
the river. It was a measure called for by truckmen, lumbermen, merchants
and men in all kinds of business, except perhaps hotel keepers. He was
willing to take that responsibility, although he was not willing to take
the responsibility of saying the railroad should come into the northern
part of the city or not at all, which might have the effect of driving
the railroad to Sutterville. It was wrong, however, to allow the railroad
to monopolize the whole city front.
Supervisor Russell moved to suspend the rules so as to plaoe the
ordinance on its final passage.
Supervisor GRANGER opposed the motion, insisting that this ordinance
covered a part of the subject to come before the citizens' meeting.
Supervisor DICKERSON said the people who sent him to the Board clothed
him with certain responsibility and if he was not capable of exercising
it, the people would find it out in good time and relieve him. While
he was in that Board, however, he would exercise that responsibility
without trying to shift it off on the shoulders of the citizens. He
called upon Supervisors Granger and Hansbrow to do the same, at least
until some Vigilance Committee should come into that Board and clean
Supervisor HANSBROW gave warning that there was danger in procrastination.
The plan of the railroad company would be to get permission to construct
a temporary trestle work to Front street, and if they once got that
privilege, they would never give it up
Supervisor DICKERSON said Mr. Robinson had never appeared openly before
the Board, but was going around one Committee and another trying to get
an underhand influence.
Supervisor HITE said there was no doubt that the Railroad Company had
violated its contract with the city, and the offense of stopping up
the slough was one of the smallest. They had shut off a large class
of men who make a living by draylng, etc., for the Company had no
right to run its freight and passenger cars below Sixth street. The
railroad had habitually overcharged the city, and the city need expect
no favors at their hands. The people demanded that this privilege
should be rescinded, and they ought to do it while they had the power.
Supervisor GRANGER said he would vote for the ordinance after the Citizens'
meeting, unless the citizens instructed him to the contrary.
The rules were suspended by a vote of 7 to 1, Supervisor Granger voting
no, and the ordinance was then passed by the same vote.
Supervisor HITE called up the ordinance introduced by him yesterday
regarding the city drainage.
On motion of Supervisor WOODS the ordinance was amended by striking out
so much as relates to imprisonment as a penalty for its violation.
The ordinance was then passed by unanimous vote. . . .
Adjourned till twelve o'clock M. to-morrow.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3349, 21 December 1861, p. 1
LETTER FROM CARSON CITY.
[CORRESPONDENCE OF THE UNION..]
Politics Still Rage--Office-Seeking Rampant--Crime Diminishing, and Order in Prospective.
CARSON CITY, Dec. 14, 1861.
After the late terrific storms, which touched us lightly compared with
California, the weather has been as bland as Spring. The snow is all gone,
except on the higher mountains, and the roads are almost everywhere again
in good condition. Business of all kinds is moderately good, having
recovered from the depression caused by the recent bad weather. There
is a considerable amount of building going on in this place, as also
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
Six thousand four hundred and ninety-five dollars was added yesterday,
by subscription, to the Citizens' Safety Fund. The Sacramento Valley
Railroad Company subscribed $5,000. The total amount of subscriptions
is, thus far, about $57,000.
RAILROAD MATTERS.--According to the terms of the call which was issued
Wednesday, the meeting Thursday night was to take into consideration
the expediency of getting the railroad to change its track from the
south to the north side of the city. The Board of Supervisors passed
an ordinance, Thursday, to prohibit the Railroad Company from laying
down their track west of Sixth street, and very adroitly managed to
get the meeting of that night to indorse its action. This was not the
object of the meeting, for it was called before the ordinance was passed.
The Board had a legal right to give notice to the Company to take up the
track west of Sixth street, and if not done in six months to order it
taken up at the expense of the Company. But it possesses no authority
to prohibit them from relaying their track and using it for six months.
In this matter the Railroad Company possess legal rights of which they
cannot be deprived, and one of them is the right to relay the track on
R street to the Sacramento river. After six months the position of the
Company may be changed.
But the fact that we consider the Railroad mainly responsible for the
disaster which has overtaken Sacramento, does not change our opinion
of its legal rights, and of the absolute necessity of permitting it to
run to the river for the delivery of down freight. Its occupancy of so
much of the city front is another matter. In that direction its
privileges have been extended until they encroach seriously upon the
public convenience. Fair play, though, the road is entitled to, and
notwithstanding its alleged shortcomings, can rightfully ask a hearing
and a just verdict. . . .
MAN DROWNED IN COLUSA.--An elderly man, named Tarlton, was drowned on
Sunday, the 8th December, on the ranch of R. J. Walsh, in Colusa county.
The river was rising rapidly, and it became necessary for all hands to
turn out in order to save the cattle on the ranch by driving them back
from the river. About a thousand head were collected, and with considerable
difficulty were driven through the water to dry land. While assisting in
driving them, Tarlton's horse got into a hole and the rider got out of
the saddle, but subsequently regained his feet, standing in several feet
of water. In this position several of his companions started to his relief,
but he again lost his foothold and disappeared from sight. Tariton had
resided with Walsh for several years. He was a native of Kentucky.
THE SAN FRANCISCO ODD FELLOWS.--Our San Francisco dispatch yesterday
mentioned the fact that five Odd Fellows' Lodges in that city had
contributed $721 for the relief of Sacramento sufferers by the flood,
and that two other Lodges had yet to report. The names of the Lodges.
and the amounts contributed are as follows: Yerba Buens Lodge, $171:
Bay City Lodge, $150; California Lodge, $150; San Francisco Lodge, $150;
Harmony Lodge, $100. Templar and Magnolia Lodges have yet to report.
The above amounts, says the Bulletin, were subscribed simply as an
Odd Fellows' offering. As individual members of society and members of
business firms, most of the Odd Fellows had previously contributed
according to their means with liberality.
THE HENNESS ROAD.--A traveler, lately over the Henness road, says the
mud is troublesome. The bridge at the Truckee was swept away, so that
there is now no means of crossing except in small boats and swimming horses.
THE LEVEE SUBJECT.
The meeting of citizens Thursday night voted unanimously for building a
strong levee on the American river, in preference to repairing the
Thirty-first and R street levees. It was a wise decision. It was also
determined not to wait for negotiations with the Railroad Company. This,
too, was judicious, for, were the company ever so willing to remove their
line to the north side, it would be impossible for them to do so in time
to be of any service in protecting the city. At some future time it is
likely that an arrangement may be made with the Sacramento Valley Railroad,
the Placerville, or the Central Pacific, to enter the city on the North
side, and along or near the levee on the American. The road could then
be used to elevate, strengthen and protect the levee. But whenever a
railroad does come into the city on the North side, it should approach
the Sacramento North of I street, and, if possible, on such a line as
would secure the filling up of Sutter Lake. For railroad purposes the
water lot in the lake may may be made very valuable, at a cost which would
be reasonable to the companies. If there were a half dozen railroads
coming into the city, good policy would dictate that all their depots
should be located on the ground now covered by Sutter Lake. By the aid
of cars and steam that lake can easily be filled so as to furnish as
desirable lots as are to be found in the city.
We have no faith in the ability of the city to force the Railroad Company
to move its line; the authorities may offer advantages to the company
which appeal so strongly to its interests as to induce it to move its
line. In our opinion, this is the only kind of force which can be
successfully applied. As was shown yesterday, if the Board of Swamp
Land Commissioners cause a levee to be built along the east bank of
the Sacramento for some thirty miles, pretty much all danger from back
water will be removed. With the banishment of this danger disappears
the urgent necessity for rebuilding the R street levee. It could only
be of service in the event of a break or an overtopping of the levee
on the American. Should such an event again follow, the lower portion
of the city might be partially inundated by back water, though this
could hardly occur if the Thirty-first street levee is repaired, as
the water would discharge itself through the slough at Sutterville as
rapidly as it would be likely to flow in through a break in the levee
on the American. However, the question of repairing the cross levees
can be determined at our leisure after the main levee on the American
At the meeting, Judge Beatty presented a rough estimate of the probable
cost of building a levee from Burns' slough to I street, thirty feet
wide on the top, with a base in proportion, at $60,000. But this estimate
was based on the price of fifty cents per cubic yard for removing earth,
when, in reality, it will cost less than half that sum. The high figure
of fifty cents per cubic yard was named because the work has to be performed
in the Winter. But the only reasons why the work will cost more in Winter
than in the Spring are the short days and the liability to be interrupted
by rain. The ground is in a more favorable condition for building a levee
than it would be in the Summer. In fact, along the American river the soil
is generally sandy, and could not be in a better condition for work and
pack than at present. It will therefore not cost over twenty cents per
cubic yard to construct the American river levee--but the number of yards
is more than estimated by Judge Beatty. This would reduce the aggregate
cost for such a levee as the Judge describes to about $30,000. Such a
calculation leaves a handsome sum for raising and strengthening the levee
on the Sacramento from the Gas Works to Y street, at which point Swamp
Land District No. 2 commences. If a contract is let for reclaiming that
district, the line of levee will begin at the southern limit of the city,
and would include the present crevasse in the levee below the Halfway House.
As the Citizens' Committee are in possession of ample funds, it is to be
hoped it will determine upon building the levee at least seven feet above
the old one. This may be considered extravagant, but were it ten feet
higher it would be so much the better. The people of this city are
admonished by the late freshet, that they know but little as to the
high water mark in this valley. The late terrible flood in Oregon,
which swept away whole towns, and drowned stock by the thousands
demonstrated to the people of that State that their ideas of high
water were greatly below the one Nature marks for herself once in a
quarter, half, or a full century. No such flood has been known there
since the State was settled by Americans. From the history of floods
in Europe and Asia, we learn that once in the life of a
generation--sometimes only once in a century--valleys have been
flooded to such an extent as to overwhelm towns, villages, farm
houses, stock, and in many instances, drowning people by hundreds.
In a valley like the Sacramento, which drains such an immense water
shed on each side that shed, too, composed of mountains covered every
Winter with deep snow--circumstances may combine once in a quarter or
half century to precipitate into its rivers a mass of water which will
cause the water in them to rise ten feet higher than the oldest
inhabitant had ever seen it. In other valleys in the world such
visitations have been experienced, and hence, we argue that it is
the part of wisdom for the present generation to provide for resisting
water from five to ten feet higher than it ever has been seen by those
now living in the Sacramento Valley. In 1853, when it could have been
done without inconvenience, we urged the city authorities to put the
grade of all our streets at the line of high water. We also urged the
raising of the levees a foot a year, until they were a number of feet
higher than anybody deemed necessary. We again urge those who have
control of the matter to put the levees up to a line which most persons
will pronounce extravagant. The levee on the American river cannot be
raised too high. The higher and broader, the greater will be the
confidence in the value of property inside of the city. Better build
it five feet too high than five inches too low. It must be further
considered, that the Swamp Land Commissioners will shortly advertise
for proposals to build a levee on the north side of the American, from
some point on Norris' ranch to its mouth. This will render it necessary
to raise the levee on the south several feet higher than if the water
were left free to spread over the country towards Marysville.
Whatever may be the hight of that levee, the one to be built by the
city should be raised several feet higher, as a measure of precaution.
We reiterate the opinion that the levee should be raised several feet
higher than most persons deem necessary.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
The Money Market--Court Proceedings--Forgery--Man Missing--False Alarm--Accident to the Chrysopolis--Losses by the Flood In Oregon.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 20th. . . .
The brig Galveston, from Coose Bay, reports severe gales on the Northern coast. . . .
Some of the losses by the flood in Oregon are summed up as follows:
Harbaugh & Steizel, boom of logs, $5,000; Hull & Mader's wharf, $7,000;
Oregon City and Linn City, $200,000; breakwater at Linn City, $50,000;
one hundred thousand bushels of wheat at Albany. Flour was held at $7@8.
The cargo of the Samuel Merritt, shipped for San Francisco, was taken out
to be sold in Portland. Thousands of boxes of apples were lost. The
inhabitants of many towns are entirely destitute of subsistence.
LEVEE IN MARYSVILLE.--The Express says "some of our prominent men
of business have in contemplation the building of a levee in this city,
for the purpose of protecting property down on First street and the lower
part of F. The portions of Marysville contiguous to the locality where
the proposed levee is to run are low ground, and are liable to inundations
when other portions of the city are many feet above high water mark."
THE FLOODS EXTENDING OVER THE NORTH.--It appears that heavy rains had
fallen in all parts of Oregon and Washington Territory. The Nisqually
bridge was swept sway by a flood on the morning of December 4th, and
in consequence the communication between Steilacoom and Olympia was
temporarily interrupted. Full accounts, however, have not yet reached
us of the damage sustained.
THE FLOOD IN OREGON.--Speaking of the late flood in Oregon, a mention
of which was made in the UNION yesterday, the Portland Advertiser
of December 12th says:
Hopes were entertained for a day or so, that the river would soon be in
a condition for punctual navigation, and that the flood would swage, but
not yet. On Tuesday night the river rose at this point, about two feet,
and at Milwaukee, some three and a half feet. The current was very swift.
During the day it rose several inches.
The Oregonian adds:
We have been without mails from the South for three days, and as many
more will pass before we can expect them. A large portion of the active
capital of Oregon has perished in this flood. The people of this valley
will be in a state of suffering from the loss of property and mills;
and a long time will pass before the losses and destruction by this
flood will be repaired.
A WORD FROM THE INTERIOR.--The Dutch Flat Enquirer, in remarking
upon the sad fortune of hundreds who have been toiling for years to build
for themselves a homestead, and been suddenly thrown back upon the worid [sic]
houseless and homeless, says :
Ere the cry of sorrow had gone forth, the voice of sympathy was heard
ministering words of hope and consolation. The substantial response of
the true-hearted citizens of the "Bay City" to their brethren of the
."City of the Plains," in this their hour of affliction and misfortune,
is an act of generosity unparalleled in the history of our nation. While
we acknowledge this act of magnificence, and offer our tribute of respect
for the deed, we should feel ourselves wanting in common charity did we
not speak our sentiments in condemnation against the few who,
seeking advantage from this misfortune, are venting their ire and baseness
against the Capital of our State. Is this a time for crimination
against a people bowed by adversity? What man possessing an atom of a
heart or a spark of manly feeling would utter a sentiment bearing in
its signification a thought of wounding men steeped in misfortune? Such
men, if men they may be called, should be hunted from among us or held
up to the scorn of mankmd, that they might be seen and shunned.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Our public school houses have been closed for school
purposes since the day of the flood, and will not be reopened until
after the holidays.
SNAGS IN THE COLUMBIA.--The steamer Pacific, while crossing the bar on
her last outward trip, struck a breaker, which stove in a considerable
portion of her bulwarks; and in coming up the river yesterday morning,
she came in contact with a very large snag, which had lodged in the river
a mile and a half from this city, breaking all the buckets out of the
starboard wheel, and carrying away a considerable portion of her upper
deck work. Men were engaged yesterday is repairing her, and she will be
able to sail this evening.--Oregonian, Dec 11th.
CITY DRAINAGE.--The question of the practicability of draining the city
is likely to be at once practically and thoroughly tested. A large
collection of water has stood on the north side of J street and east
of Seventh, in the lower portions of the ground since the day of the
flood, without any means of escape. T. M. Lindley, for the purpose of
reducing the drainage proposition to practice, commenced the work of
constructing a water main or sewer across Seventh street, and through
a portion of the alley between K and L streets. This main is about two
feet six inches wide, and the same in hight, and is constructed of one,
two and three inch redwood plank. It is sunk to a point which gives a
fall of eight inches to the block to the base of the railroad embankment
at R street. It carries off the water from the block between Seventh
and Eighth and K and L streets. By a drain dug across K street to a
corresponding depth, the block on the north side of K is also drained by
it. This block is connected with the area north of J street above
referred to, by a deep drain dug in Eighth street, within the past few
days. A. C. Sweetser has had charge of the Eighth street work, but the
whole is done under the supervision of B. F. Leet as engineer. The water
has not yet been let into the Eighth street canal, but will be to-day,
and we shall have a practical demonstration of the extent to which the
upper portion of the city may be drained at its present grade by the plan
adopted. When the levees are completed and a permanent grade adopted, a
system of sewerage can also be adopted which will greatly relieve the
northern portion of the city.
POLICE COURT.--The first case called in the Police Court yesterday, was
that of Caleb White, charged with assault and battery on H. Dyer. The
difficulty occurred in Center township, the parties having quarreled
abont drift timber on the American river, at Sacramento Bar. After
hearing the testimony, the Court discharged the defendant. . . .
FROM RICHLAND.--We learn from a resident of Richland, the new town on the
Sacramento, twenty-five miles south of the city, that the town is entirely
under water. The only chance of reaching the city, except by the river, is
to go by boats across the tules on the east to Georgetown, on the lower
Stookton road. The most of the houses of ranchmen on the bank of the river
are out of water, but nearly all the land a few rods from the river is
flooded. Our informant thinks the agricultural interests in that portion
of the county are nearly ruined for the present season. Large numbers of
fruit trees are under water, and will, it is feared, be destroyed, as the
water cannot be disposed of, except as the river falls.
SCHOONER SACRAMENTO.--The keel and ribs of the new schooner Sacramento,
which is being built by Frank Kosta, on the Sacramento, a half mile below
the foot of R street, has been in imminent danger, during the past ten
days, of being carried away by the high stage of the water. The river has
fallen so far now that all immediate danger is past, and the owner is
making arrangements to recommence work upon her as soon as possible. The
Sacramento, when finished, will be the first schooner ever built at this
place. She will carry about eighty-five tons of freight. . . .
THE LEVEE WORK.--The work at Rabel's tannery and Burns' slough is
progressing encouragingly. The new building at the slough has been
completed, and about eighty men are now fed and lodged there. These
men are at work at the embankment, and have entirely shut off the
current of water from the channel of the slough. This must result
in the removal of the water which divides the city from the section
of the county to the east. . . .
STEAM PUMP.--The steam engine formerly in use at the soap factory near
the fort, has been brought into the city, and was yesterday fitted up
at Protection Engine house with a pump. It is designed to set it to work
to pump out the cellar of the engine house, after which it will be ready
for service wherever its services are most needed.
THE CITIZENS' SUBSCRIPTION.--The amount subscribed yesterday for the fund
which is being raised to be used by the Citizens' Safety Committee was
$6,495. This makes a total of about $57,000. Among the subscriptions
yesterday was that of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company for $5,000. . . .
THE RIVER.--The Sacramento river is still falling, but quite slowly. During yesterday the gauge indicated a hight of twenty feet above low water mark, the entire fall during the past week being two feet.
DISCHARGED.--In the oase of Samuel M. Slidell, examined on Thursday, on
a charge of grand larceny in stealing $1,100, and taken under advisement,
Judge Gilmer yesterday rendered a decision discharging the defendant.
STILL OPEN.--Bids for the construction of bridges on J and K streets,
near the Fort, will be received at the office of the Clerk of the Board
of Supervisors until twelve o'clock today. . . .
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
FRIDAY, Dec 20, 1861
The Board met at half-past twelve o'clock; the President in the chair, and
all the members present except Supervisors Wood and Hall. . . .
G. W. Colby submitted a proposition for building a bridge across the Burns
Slough on J street. He proposes to build a very fine bridge, with a span
of not less than fifty feet, eighteen feet wide, with two tracks, and have
it finished in fifteen days for $2,400 in cash. He also proposes to build
a strong single track bridge, sixty feet long--single track of three-inch
plank on the level of the street, that would last till it should rot down
unless carried away by the flood, for $500 cash.
R. F. Leet submitted a proposition for building a bridge at the same point.
He proposes a handsome single track bridge with hand rails, one hundred and
five feet long, for $11 per lineal foot in cash from tolls, with two per cent
per month interest after thirty days, or $55 per foot in city scrip.
Both proposals were accompanied by plans and specifications. Proposals had
been invited also, for a bridge on K street, but none were submitted, as
it was supposed there was no chance of building more than one of the bridges
Mr. Colby said there had been six or seven bridges on J and K streets in all,
carried away by the water, but if the slough was to be secured so that there
would be no danger of a flood, a cheap bridge would answer every purpose,
and would be better for teams, because it would be on a level with the
street. He built the first bridge, and received about $3,500 for it, and
the last one, he was informed by the President, cost $1,500. He would not
be willing to build the bridge for $500 for anything short of cash, because
if it was made a toll brldge, unless there were more rains to prevent, teams
would avoid the toll bridge by taking other streets.
The PRESIDENT said he had talked with some of the Citizens Committee, and
they seemed to favor the idea of helping in this matter. No doubt the
Finance Committee would meet with the Citizens' Committee to-morrow
and see what could be done.
Supervisor GRANGER suggested that further time be allowed to receive
proposals to take the pay either in tolls or from the Contingent Fund.
Supervisor HITE moved that the Committee be allowed till to-morrow to
confer with the parties and make a contract, subject to the approval
of the Board, in the meantime allowing other parties to bring in bids
if they desired to.
Supervisor GRANGER said there was no other way of paying than from the
tolls, and he thought in that way the bridges would pay for themselves
in sixty days, but they must adopt some plan to avoid paying the money
into the Treasury.
Supervisor HITE said he was assured by the Treasurer that he would not
retain from this money fifty-five per cent for the Interest Fund as in
the case of other receipts.
Supervisor GRANGER said some one might enjoin the Treasurer and compel
him to do it.
The PRESIDENT suggested that the money could be paid to the Finance
Committee and not go in the Treasury at all.
Supervisor RUSSELL asked if the slough could not be filled up cheaper,
and avoid a bridge there.
Supervisor GRANGER replied that it was necessary to keep the slough open
to prevent an overflow. If they closed it they would be as much blamed
as the Railroad Company had been.
The PRESIDENT--I will state that Burns' slough is stopped.
The motion of Supervisor HITE postponing the matter till to-morrow and
inviting new proposals meanwhile, was carried. . . . .
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution requesting the Committee on Streets
to have the same lighted up from the 21st inst. till the first of April next.
Supervisor GRANGER moved, as a substitute, that the Committee contract with
the Gas Company to light the street lamps the same as last year.
Supervisor HITE accepted the amendment.
The PRESIDENT desired to add a lamp, to be put up at the corner of Eighth
and K streets, believing it would be no more than just, since four lights
were maintained in Slater's Addition.
Supervisor GRANGER's substitute was adopted.
Supervisor HITE offered a resolution that the Committee on Police [?] and
Levee appoint a competent engineer to make a survey for a levee on the
American river, from a high point of land below Patterson's, and report
the kind of levee required and the cost. In offering the resolution, he
said he had been unjustly accused of wanting a hand in expending the money
raised for a levee, but in spite of that accusation he had his sworn duty
to perform, and must go as far as he could to perform it. He considered
that this work was necessary to be done outside of the limits of the city.
Supervisors HANSBROW and GRANGER opposed the resolution as an
interference with and a direct reflection upon the Citizens' Committee,
who had been intrusted with the duty and responsibility of securing
the city against future floods.
The resolution was rejected.
Adjourned till tomorrow at twelve M . . . .
RIVERS CHANGING THEIR BEDS.--The fashion of California rivers, in changing
their beds, is illustrated by the following, from the Grass Valley
National, in the case of Bear river:
We understand that Bear river, during the late storm, became so completely
filled up with gravel that it was forced out of the old channel, at a
point a mile or two above Johnson's crossing, and formed an entire new
bed for a distance of some six or seven miles, coming into its old channel
again near Kempton's crossing. The river now passes Johnson's fully half
a mile to the south of the old bridge, which, were it now standing, would
span a bed of gravel some twelve or fifteen feet deep. The new channel
has been cut directly through a range of fine ranches, and the destruction
of property in consequence must be very heavy. We understand that immense
tracts of the finest agricultural lands, along the river, have been
completely destroyed by the immense amount of gravel deposited upon them
by the overflow.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3350, 23 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The Board of Supervisors, at their meeting Saturday, took some energetic
action in regard to the railroad, as will be seen by the report of their
proceedings. They direct, by ordinance, the removal of all railroad
property from First street and the river, and from so much of the R
street levee as lies west of Sixth street.
A CANAL.--The Bee of Saturday contained an article by a correspondent,
advocating as a means of protection to the city a canal from the American
to the Sacramento--commencing near Smith's garden, and running in a
straight line back of the city, to the Sacramento river. A large canal
to act as a waste way would, doubtless, relieve the American in a time
of flood of a large portion of its surplus water. But a canal, if one
is deemed necessary, is a work to be done after the levee is completed.
In our judgment no canal will be needed if the levee on the American is
make as broad and as high as it should be. Let that levee be built from
seven to ten feet higher than what we call high water mark, and a canal
would be a useless work. On the river Po, in Italy, the levee is, in
some districts, thirty feet high. On that river levees were built in
the time of the Romans. So much has the bed of the river risen since
the levee system was adopted that the people of large districts of
country live in houses which are located actually below the bed of the
river. The bed of the American is rapidly filling and rising--but many
a year will have passed before the people of this city will find themselves
living in houses, the foundations of which are below the bed of the American.
THE RAIN which was so gently but steadily falling yesterday and last night,
as well as the night before, admonishes the gentlemen who have control of
the work on the levee, that they might have employed a hundred or two more
men the past week to advantage. Such work ought to be pushed day and night,
and Sunday, for it is emphatically a work of necessity. Should the river
rise again it will take desperately energetic work to prevent it from
breaking through again at Burns' slough. In that event, the water might
back up slightly in the lower portion of the city, but not enough to cause
any great injury.
SLUICING.--If the mud and slush on J and K streets would pay three cents
to the pan, it would be sluiced off in about three days by gold
seekers. There is no gold in it, but it would soon be sluiced off if
men could make three dollars a day for doing it. We believe it practicable
to relieve J and K streets of mud by the process of sluicing. By selecting
a low point in a cross street, or a lot the owner wants filled, making
and properly setting sluice boxes, and then throw into them the water
from one or more hydrants, we do not see why the mud in the streets
might not be speedily removed, and at a very small cost, by this mining
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Fatal Accident--Races--Death of a Volunteer--Later from Oregon.
SAN FRANCISCO,, December 22d.
. . .
18th. The Overland Mail started on the 17th for California, but it would hardly get tqrough. [sic]
The loss in Oregon City by the flood is $170,000. . . .
LATE FROM WASHOE.--From the Territorial Enterprise of Dec. 18th we extract the following: . . .
The road company have an immense force engaged in repairing the road from
Silver City to Dayton. It is thought the work will be completed by Friday
During the recent storm the Carson river was the highest it was ever known
to be. The water has fallen to about its usual mark. . . .
HOUSE-RAISING APPARATUS.--The greater portion of the hydraulic house-raising
apparatus of Edward Fell arrived in the city on Saturday and yesterday
mornings, on the steamers Nevada and Sacramento, from San Francisco. The
remainder will come up within a day or two. It is expected that a number
of our brick buildings will be raised by this machinery within the next
three or four months. A hydraulic pump is used capable of a pressure of
twenty thousand pounds to the square inch, though this extreme pressure
is of course never employed. In raising a building, cast iron cylinders
are used on which the piston is forced up by the introduction of water
beneath, forced in by the pump above referred to. These cylinders are
made of three inch cast iron, the chamber and piston being five inches
in diameter. The play of the piston is eighteen inches. The set of
cylinders consists of twenty-seven in all, though all are but seldom
used under any one building. The earth is removed from the foundation
of the building to be raised, a portion at a time, and the cylinders
are adjusted under the walls on a solid foundation of plank if necessary.
By this means the entire building is brought to rest on them. All are
then connected with the pump by means of tubes, and water is forced in
beneath the piston of each. The building goes up gradually with the
pressure of the pump, and is of course carefully supported in its place
by such timbers as are necessary. The piston rises but eighteen inches,
but any hight desired in addition is gained by the use of additional
wedges or blocks. When the building has attained the right position,
the underpinning walls are built and the cylinders are removed one by
one, leaving the building to rest on its new foundation walls. The entire
apparatus consists of the pump and cylinders spoken of, several hundred
jack-ssrews, connecting pipes of all sizes and forms, iron wedges, iron
plates and cords of wooden blocks and planking of all sizes, shapes and
descriptions. It is the same as has been used by Gordon & Stein and G. H.
Hossefross, of San Francisco, and is the invention of Stein and a Frenchman,
who co-operated with him in its original construction. The present
proprietor is confident that he can raise any building in the city with
it, provided the owner can "raise the wind" to pay him for his work.
THE WEATHER AND LEVEES.--After a clear and pleasant day on Saturday,
a light rain set in at about eleven o'clock P. M., which continued at
intervals through the night. The quantity of water which fell in this
vicinity was inconsiderable. The rain is said to have been heavier in
the mountains. During the greater portion of yesterday the rain continued
without increase as to quantity. Last evening appearances indicated a
heaver rain through the night. In this connection, the state of the rivers
and the condition of the levee improvements are not without interest.
The Sacramento has fallen three feet from the highest point of the
season--twenty-two feet above low water mark. The American at the Tannery
is eight or nine feet lower than at the time of the flood. The new
embankments at Burns' slough and the Tannery are advancing as rapidly
as practicable, but will require several days of energetic work to prepare
them for a rise in the river. The weak point on the Sacramento below R
street has not been touched. If the river continues to fall, it is all
right; if it rises much, the place is dangerous. The crevasse above
Sutterville has not been closed. The water has been running through
it steadily, contributing to keep up the back water on the lower portion
of the city. In case of a rise, it may prove troublesome to us. At Sutterville the water has been flowing through the levee for several days.
MORE NAMES.--The residents of the neighborhood of Sixth and N streets speak
in grateful terms of the action of Captain Rogers, of the steamer Swan,
who, on the morning of the flood, obtained boats and took the women and
children of the vicinity on board the steamer, where they were all treated
with the greatest consideration. They were furnished with food and lodging,
and those who had no place to go to in the city were invited to remain on
the boat during her trip to Marysville and back. We have also been requested
to state that C. York and his wife, at South Park, on R street, extended
generous aid to all in distress in their neighborhood; and also that a
youg [sic] man named Hall, by swimming nearly a block at a critical moment,
rescued from imminent danger the wife and children of John Black, who
was himself exhausted from sickness and unable to get to their assistance.
THE FARMING INTEREST.--The farmers in the neighborhood of Sacramento are
divided into two classes--the flooded and the unflooded. The first named
class are laying on their oars--for as a general thing: they have
substituted skiffs and scows for plows and harrows--waiting anxiously
for the water to leave. With their volunteer crops destroyed, their
fruit trees dying, their garden lands rendered useless for the present
(perhaps for the season) they are unable to see exactly how they are
to expend their labor to any advantage for the present. The unflooded
class are more cheerful and busy. They are generally plowing and
sowing with the hope and confidence that the busy seed time will be
followed by a fruitful and remunerative harvest. . . .
RAILROAD MATTERS.--The Railroad Company has so far repaired the railroad
east of Poverty Ridge as to be able to run the cars westward to the breach
at Eighteenth street. At this point heavy timbers have been taken on to
the cars and transported eastward for additional repairs. The passenger
trains come no further west than the upper Stockton road, from which
point passengers are brought by stages, by way of the fort, to the city.
RAIN.--At nine o'clock last evening there had fallen within the past
twenty-four hours, as we learn from Dr. Logon, .460 of an inch of rain,
making the entire amount of the present month 3.247 inches, and the
total amount of the season 5.417. This is not an unusual quantity for
the season, and is a small capital on which to get up so large a flood
as we have been visited with. The fall in the mountains has of course
been much heavier than in the valley. . . .
NOT NECESSARY.--In digging trenches across streets for purposes of
drainage, it is not necessary to cut the planking of the street-crossings.
The earth can be removed from beneath and still leave the planking remain
for a bridge for foot-passengers. In several instances on J street the
opposite course has been pursued.
THE RIVER.--At sunset last evening the river guage indicated nineteen feet
of water in the Sacramento, above low watermark. This shows a fall of
twelve inches within the past forty-eight hours, and a fall of three feet
within the past ten days. . . .
YESTERDAY.--During yesterday some seventy-five workmen were employed at
the levee enbankment at Burns' slough, on the American river. Work on
the levee at the Tannery was suspended on account of its being Sunday. . . .
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
SATURDAY, Dec. 21, 1861.
The Board met at 12 o'clock, the President in the Chair, and Supervisors
Granger, Hansbrow, Russell, Hite and Dickerson present. . . .
The subject of building bridges on J and K streets, across the slough, was
taken up, and M. ESTEE [?] (for Benjamin & McWilliams), B. F. Leet, and
G. M. Colby severally addressed the Board.
Benjamin & McWilliams proposed a structure costing only $400 in cash,
which in their opinion would answer all the purposes of a bridge.
B. F. LEET said he had made his plan for a bridge on
K street, where the bridge would need to be 114 feet
long, and the roadway raised about a foot. If on J
street a bridge only 50 feet long were needed it would
cost by his proposition only $550, that was at $11 per
lineal foot, but he had not examined it. He intended,
when he proposed to do it for cash, to take it in tolls
from the bridge. He would build the bridge and hold
it for the tolls till enough had been collected to pay
him, and it was immaterial whether he or the Board of
Supervisors appointed the toll gatherer. Of course he
would expect the Board to establish reasonable rates--say
a bit for a single horse carriage, two bits for two
horses, and so on; and he would also expect that the
board would stop the ferry boats.
Supervisor HANSBROW asked what he would do in case teams
should avoid the bridge by taking other
routes which might be practicable.
Mr. LEET replied then he would hold on to the bridge
till he did get his pay if it took sixty years. He had
not so much of the milk of human kindness as to build
the bridge for nothing. But he did not think there was
any risk. At the rate the ferry had gone on, the bridge
would pay for itself in four days.
G. W. COLBY said he had made his plans and proposition for J street,
and had only casually examined the site on K street. He thought the kind
of bridge proposed by Mr.Leet, with bents, would not be secure from
floods, but he would build a bridge with bents, or a span of twenty
feet in the center, for.$1,000, to be eighty or one hundred feet
long, he making the filling necessary. He would make it twelve feet
wide and cover it with three inch planks, the timbers for the bents
and bridge to be not less that twelve inches square, and the braces
for the span not less than eight inches square, with side railing
four feet high. He would take his pay from tolls collected, all
payments to be made within three months, or if they saw fit to make
it a free bridge, he would take city indebtedness for the balance
unpaid, calling the bridge one hundred feet, at $50 per foot.
Supervisor GRANGER moved that a Committee of three city members be
appointed to examine the locations and the various plans proposed,
and report on Monday which proposition they recommend the city to
adopt. He would prefer that Supervisor Hite should be Chairman of
the Committee, and suggested that in the meantime Mr. Colby submit
his proposition in writing. If in the opinion of the Committee that
$400 structure would answer the purpose, he would favor that plan,
and at all events he thought they would not want a bridge at more
than one point.
The motion prevailed, and Supervisors Hlte, Granger and Russell were
appointed the Committee. . . .
Supervisor HANSBROW said he had a further ordinance to propose in regard
to the Sacramento Valley Railroad. He found that the action of the Board
was heartily approved by citizens, as far as that action had gone, but
it was very much feared that the Board would reconsider its action in
the premises, as corporations of that kind were supposed to exert great
influence. He therefore introduced
An Ordinance supplemental to an Ordinance concerning the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company.
Section 1. The Sacramento Valley Railroad Company is hereby required,
within ten days from the passage of this Ordinance, to take up and remove
the rails of their road from Front street, from the Sacramento levee, and
from that part of the R street levee lying west of Sixth street; and to
remove all buildings, tanks, and each and every obstruction owned or
claimed by them from Front street, and each and every other street or
levee upon which any such tank, building or other obstruction may be
Sec. 2. The Chief of Police is hereby directed to enforce so much of
this ordinance as requires the removal of obstructions from the public
streets and levees, and the District Attorney shall take the necessary
legal steps for the removal of the rails, etc., provided said company
shall not voluntarily comply with the provisions of this ordinance.
The ordinance was read a first and second time.
Supervisor HANSBROW said it was claimed by some that the Railroad Company
were entitled to a longer notice before action of this kind could be taken.
He admitted that such would be the case had they complied entirely with
the terms of their contract, but they had not complied with any of these
terms, and hence the city was under no obligations to them. The ordinance
of 1853 expressly provided that if they violated the terms of their
contract, the privileges granted might be immediately revoked. By that
ordinance they were required to bridge all sloughs and ditches, and
leave unimpeded the course of running waters, etc., none of which they
had complied with. The language of the ordinance was, "If said company
fail or neglect to comply with the provisions and requirements of this
ordinance, or fail to comply with any of its provisions, then all the
provisions of this ordinance shall become void and of no effeot."
Consequently there was no obligation to give them six months notice,
or to pay for the removal of the tracks and other improvements.
The rules were suspended, and the ordinance passed--ayes 5; noes 0.
Supervisor HANSBROW said, in order to show that the Board meant to
stand by its action on this subject, he offered the following:
WHEREAS, The action of this Board with reference to the Sacramento
Valley Railroad Company in the passage of an ordinance restricting
them from running their cars into the city any further west than
Sixth street did, at a public meeting of the citizens, meet with
their cordial and hearty approval; therefore
Resolved, That this Board will in the future use all the
honorable means in their power to sustain their action in the passage
of the said ordinance, and will, if necessary, sustain their action
before the Courts; and that we will not abandon what we now conceive
to be our right--that is, the right to enforce compliance with the
terms of the aforesaid ordinance until the Courts shall decide that
we have interfered with any vested rights which the said Sacramento
Valley Railroad may have had.
The resolution was adopted unanimously,
Supervisor RUSSELL, said it had been, he thought, very sagaciously
suggested by Mr. Stowe, that very little of the railroad track was
now remaining between Sixth and Thirty-first streets, and if the
Board desired to repeal the ordinance allowing them to come into the
city west of Thirty-first street, it might be cheaper to do so now than
to wait till the track should be relaid, and then perhaps have to pay for it.
Supervisor HANSBROW said it was only proposed now to exclude the railroad
west of Sixth street,
Supervisor GRANGER suggested that it might be well to repeal the ordinance
regulating the road from Thirty-first to Sixth streets, and enact a
new one. He was satisfied that the original space left between Poverty
Ridge and the levee would not have been sufficiant to let all the water
off [?], and that the city would have been flooded to some extent even
if it had not been filled up. They ought now to begin, as the lawyers
said, de novo, that was anew, and pass an ordinance requirlng as one
of the conditions of allowing the road to come to Sixth street, that
they should build trestle work, and keep it open all the way between
the points designated. He presumed the Board would take such action. . . .
Adjourned till eleven o'clock A.M., on Monday.
KNIGHT'S LANDING.--According to the News, this place, which was
surrounded by water, but stood above the rushing element calm and serene,
is among the most favored spots in the land. The News says:
Knight's Landing is at present a point of considerable importance--being
the only high land on the Sacramento river accessible from the interior
between Benicia and Red Bluff. . . .
THE STATE CAPITAL.
The Knight's Landing News, referring to the proposition of a few
interested parties to remove the State Capital, says:
We have seen it urged by some of the interior papers, that since Sacramento
has been flooded out and that beautiful city made to look desolate for a
short time by her misfortunes, that the Capital should be removed to some
point not subject to overflows--probably to San Francisco. Now, aside from
the meanness of these suggestions plying injury and ingratitude on
unavoidable misfortune, we are, and ever shall be, opposed to a removal
of the Capital. Sacramento is, and always will be, the most central and
most accessible city in the State, and the State has laid out large sums
of money to build a State House, which is now considerably advanced, for
the accommodation of the Legislature and State officers; and the citizens
of Sacramento have, at the same time, been liberal to a fault, in providing,
without charge, the finest site in the city to erect it on; and of all the
arguments which have heretofore been used in favor of Sacramento as the
Capital, none of them have lost their weight, but have as much force now
as they ever had, the flood to the contrary notwithstanding. We look upon
the city's misfortunes as only temporary. We have seen her survive and
prosper under far worse calamities than this, and we feel sure, from the
character of her citizens for perseverance and energy, that in the end
this--her present misfortune--will prove a lasting advantage to the city.
She will now know what she must do to avoid another occurrence like this;
and they will do it, and will place high and permanent embankments around
the city, which, in connection with a higher grade to the streets, will
forever insure them against another overflow, and in the end do a great
good by the means of a great evil. We admit this lesson was a dear one;
but dear bought wisdom is good wisdom, and can be relied on in this
instance in making Sacramento a greater, more permanent and lasting
city than she could possibly have been had it not occurred.
The Amador Ledger adds:
That Sacramento is the most desirable location in the State for the
Capital, has certainly become apparent to every person who is not so
exceedingly selfish as to desire this institution for his next door
neighbor, and has sufficient philanthrophy to induce him to consult
the general convenience in the smallest degree. It is utter folly to
attempt to induce the people to believe that there exists a necessity
for the removal of the Capital, because a flood, the like of which the
"oldest inhabitant," upon testing his recollection to the utmost, fails
to remember, has for the time proved too much for the provisions made
for protection, and which everybody deemed amply sufficient. They have
too much confidence in the enterprise and liberality of Sacramentans
to fear the occurrence of a similar calamity.
The Butte Record remarks:
Since the late flood, which proved so disastrous to the city of Sacramento,
a disposition is manifested in certain quarters to renew the question of
a removal of the State Capital to some place less subject to inundation.
We had confidently hoped that that subject would not again be brought
before the people of California. We believe that a large majority of
the people of the State are satisfied with the present location and are
opposed to being subjected to increased taxation and debt by its removal.
Sacramento is certainly the most central and accessible place that could
be selected, and, as we have the foundation already commenced there for
a commodious Capitol building, it would be folly to seek some less
convenient place and commence anew. Notwithstanding the terrible
inundation, Sacramento is not yet a city of the past, and not likely
to be very soon. With proper protection it may never again be flooded
as in the past. The members of the incoming Legislature will have more
important matters than the Capital removal claiming their attention, and
we trust that any proposition tending to such an object will not be
tolerated by them a single hour. Let the Capital remain where it now is.
The Calaveras Chronicle has the following:
We have seen in some papers innendoes thrown out to the effect that the
State Capital should be removed from Sacramento on account of its
liability to be flooded during the Winter months. One of the best signs
of a State's prosperity is the rapid growth of its cities, and we
should all be willing to contribute our share towards the support of
our principal towns. The Capitol buildings have been already commenced
in Sacramento, and at the present time, while the city is exerting itself
to the fullest extent of its ability towards remedying the difficulties
which have nearly overwhelmed it, the country should offer at least its
sympathy, and not add anything to their misfortunes. The Capital should
not be removed from Sacramento, and the State should make some
appropriation to aid in rendering the city proof against a like calamity
in the future.
REPORTED DROWNED.--A report has been prevalent in town for a few days past,
that the wife of Watt Perdue, and also her mother, Mrs. Frank Cannon, were
drowned during the recent flood. We believe they were living near the Butte
mountains. and had their residence swept away by the flood. We are unable
to trace the report, or to gain any reliable information in regard to the
THE FRESHET IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Oregon Sentinel of December
From all directions reports reach us of the great destruction of property
in bridges, ferry boats, mills, fences, etc., occasioned by the late flood,
unparalleled in the history of the country. On Sunday morning last, the
water was at its highest point. We note the losses as reported to us:
North--all the bridges on Butte creek have been swept away, and the
bridge and saw mill at the mouth of Evans creek have also been lost.
On Rogue river, Hunter's ferry boat has gone down stream; also,
Pelton's boat, near Table Rock.
South--a number of bridges are gone between this place and Yreka.
The Yreka ditch has been damaged to such an extent that it will require
$20,000 to put it in repair. The bridge over Shasta river is gone, and
the race course was entirely submerged. The middle abutment of Klamath
bridge has been moved down three feet.
Well's mills, on Applegate, has been so seriously damaged as not to admit
of repair. The bridge is gone.
THE LATE STORM IN PLUMAS.--The Standard of December 14th has the
We were visited during the latter part of last week by one of the heaviest
rain storms ever experienced in this region, which continued for five
days and nights without intermission. The waters of Spanish creek
overflowed its banks, transmogrifying our valley into a temporary
lake, flooding cellars, etc., to the pecuniary injury of numerous
of our fellow citizens. Numerous bridges in our valley were swept
away by the freshet, and for several days communication was entirely
cut off from the surrounding country.
The late freshet was very severe at Nelson Point, having carried away
the bridge which spanned Feather river, together with the Nelson creek
bridge, the toll house, a new house recently erected by White, as well
injuring Captain Cunningham's store to some extent. At the time of
Church's visit it was impossible to reach the Point owing to the high
stage of water and the turbid character of the river, rendering it
exceedingly dangerous to attempt its passage in a boat. . . .
. . .
PROBABLY DROWNED.--George Kramer, who recently shot J. B. Lowe in a
quarrel about land near Knight's Landing, is supposed to have been lost
in the late flood. . . .
[flooding matters go on for about 45 days, plus follow-up articles for years to come]
--Mike Barkley, 167 N. Sheridan Ave., Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
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