Excerpts from Sacramento Daily Union - Second Inundation 12/24/1861 [press date]
(c) 2012, Mike Barkley
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3351, 24 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The heavy rain of yesterday and the day before caused a considerable rise
in the American river, which continued at a late hour last night. At nine
o'clock the rain was still falling here and at Placerville, Folsom, and
at other places. The American broke through at Burns' slough again at
about six o'clock last evening, but as its water can easily flow to the
Sacramento, no fear need be apprehended of a repetition of the recent
inundation unless the Sacramento should rise with a rapidity far
exceeding its wont.
BURNS' SLOUGH.--A second rise in the American river came too soon for
the men engaged in building the levee in Burns' slough. The water came
up yesterday so fast as to overflow the new part and carry it away.
This will probably increase the water in the southern portion of the
city somewhat, though not to any serious extent. The work of the last
few days at that point has, of course, been lost; but better luck next
time will be the motto of the Committee. The same thing happened in 1853.
The first work done on that slough, and the one at the Tivoli House, was
destroyed by a sudden rise in the river, and it had to be done the second
time. Had the weather remained pleasant a week longer, everything would
have been made secure by the Committee. It is to be regretted that a
force could not have been sent on Saturday to the crevasse between here
and Sutterville, as there has been no water passing through it for the
past two days, and therefore it might easily have been closed. . . .
LATE FROM WASHOE.--We find the annexed items of intelligence in the
Territorial Enterprise of Dec. 20th: . . .
We understand that good prospects are obtained in Gold Canon, near Johntown.
The gold is fonnd in crevices of the bed rock, and seems to have been
deposited by the tailings swept down the stream by the recent freshet.
The water in the Carson river has subsided to about its usual mark, and
the workmen are busy repairing the dams and bridges which were swept away
by the flood. . . .
SUPERVISORS VS. RAILROAD.
The Board of Supervisors appear to have determined to punish the Railroad
for the late flood. The members, since the flood, pretend to have found
out that the Company has forfeited its right of way into the city, because
it failed to build trestle work and bridges on the line east of Sixteenth
street. Why did not this wide awake Board discover that fact before the
city was flooded? Had they attended to their duties they would have had
the embankment in the slough removed, and trestle work substituted. There
was much more truth than poetry in the plain talk of A. Black at the
meeting last week. He asserted that the Board of Supervisors were
responsible for the disaster which had overtaken the city, because the
members did not compel the Railroad Company to open the embankment at
the slough, east of the end of R street. Now, he said, they were keen
to make the Railroad Company perform its duty, after "we had all been
drowned out." They were for locking the door after the horse was stolen.
The action of the Board against the railroad partakes very much of the
lock the door after the horse is stolen, character. The members seem to
be actuated by a spirit of revenge. The Board possessed the right to give
the Company notice to take up their track west of Sixth street, but it
did not possess the power to pass an ordinance ordering the Company to
take up its track on the levee and on Front street within ten days, and
if it failed, ordering the police to take it up. No ordinance can be
legally passed upon the assumption that the Company has forfeited its
legal rights. Whether it has or has not is a fact which must be settled
in a Court of justice, until the Court decides that the Company has
forfeited the privileges granted it, the ordinances passed by the Board
are not worth the paper upon which they are written. Adopting ordinances
under such circumstances tends to bring the authority of the Board into
contempt before the people. Such hasty action upon a matter of so much
importance is particularly to be condemned. Impulsive legislation
generally proves unwise. The rights of the railroad are no more
forfeited now than they were twelve months ago, and the fierce action
of the Board in the premises is the severest condemnation of the failure
to act of past Boards which could be published. The present course of
the Board is likely to involve the city in an expensive law suit, and
that, too, without accomplishing the object the members have in view.
LETTER FROM EX-GOVERNOR BURNETT ON SACRAMENTO AFFAIRS.
SAN JOSE, December 19, 1861.
H. O. BEATTY.--DEAR SIR: I have read with satisfaction your communications
in reference to the city defenses of Sacramento; and beg leave to make
to you a few suggestions of my own.
You are aware that I was in the City Council in 1853, when the R street
levee was constructed and the old levee repaired. The R street levee
vas constructed with a view to a double defense of the city.
I had long observed that the bank of the river below R street was yearly
caving in, and saw from the natural shape of the ground that it would
be most difficult to construct there a permanent work. We also knew that
the levee above Thirty-first street might break. I always doubted the
strength of the levee near the Tivoli House. In constructing the east
line of levee from about opposite the fort to the same distance above,
the dirt for he embankment was, contrary to my judgment, taken from the
outside; thus forming a channel for the water; and as the formation was
sand, this channel would necessarily be enlarged and the embankment fall
in. Where a line of levee, of any considerable hight, faces running
water, it should very gradually decline on the side next the current.
This will prevent its washing away. I am satisfied, from reflection and
experience, that to keep up permanent levees will require an annual
expenditure of some $5,000. The levee should be annually repaired and
increased in strength and hight. The safety of Sacramento requires eternal
vigilance and steady system. In filling in the head of the slough, there
should be double sheet piling of redwood lumber, and earth on both
sides of the piling. Between the rows of piling there should be sheet iron,
zinc, or tin, so as to prevent the gophers from gnawing through the piling.
An embankment of this kind, made high enough, will certainly stand. The
main error heretofore committed at that point has been in not making the
embankment high enough.
From all I can learn, the Consolidation Act has failed, and I suppose will
be abandoned. But in abandoning that Act, will you fall back upon a system
that has also failed? If so, what will be gained but a litttle [sic]
variety in failure?
The redemption of the city, and its future stability, requires a steady,
practical system. The system must first be practical, and then pursued
for years, in order to attain success. If you have a charter creating
officers of only one year's duration, can this be done? I think not.
There can be no steady pursuit of any determinate system when your
officers are always green, and always under the apprehension
of being shortly turned out. Such officers are either indifferent to
public opinion, or so fearful of it, that they grant everything that
everybody asks, and hence, grant a ruinous privilege to A, and another
to B. Has not this been the case heretofore?
But you not only require a steady pursuit of the same system for years
to come, but you must reduce your city expenditures to the lowest practical
standard. To accomplish both these purposes, you must give your
officers long terms, moderate cash salaries and hold them to a rigid
accountability. If you will then select good men you must succeed. An
officer can well afford to serve for a much less annual salary, when he
is in for a long term that when he fills a short one. To put a man in
office for a short term, with an almost certainty that he will not be
again elected, it will require most of his salary to pay his electioneering
expenses, and, if honest, in the end he is the loser in a
pecuniary point of view.
Your new charter should give your Mayor a long term and ample power, and
he should be made responsible for the [actions of?] subordinate agents
under him [where he has to?] exercise his powers to correct abuses. He
should be subject to removal for incompetency as well as for willful
misconduct. If you will make your salaries moderate you will then be
able to pay them punctually. There are many good and competent men that
are willing to fill offices with moderate salaries, because they are not
fortune-seekers, and are willing to accept office for a plain support and
the opportunity of doing good. Extravagant salaries fill offices with
mercenary men as a general rule. There should be nothing speculative
in salaries because there is no risk of failure. The chance of great
gain should always go with the chance of great loss.
The government of a city, as a general rule, requires almost as much
talent as that of a State under our theory. I think I may speak from
some little experience, and I must say it is about as difficult to
fill well the office of Mayor of such a city as San Francisco for example,
as to perform the duties of Governor of a State. The government of
Sacramento city is about as difficult as that of San Francisco, though
the former city is of less extent. This arises from the local position of
Sacramento requiring a system of levees to be kept up.
It occurs to me that your new charter should give the city the power
to acquire the right of property in the line of levee outside the
city limits, and the charter should impose adequate penalties for
injury to that line of levee and prescribe the manner in which they
could be inforced. Your City Council should not be too large. A few
members will do more work than many, and do it better. The Mayor should
have a negative upon all acts of the Council unless passed by a majority
of three fourths. You must take a new start in your city government and
infuse into it more conservative elements, or you will still fail as
heretofore. Any sound practical mind could take charge of the affairs
of the city, and in a few years have her placed in a safe and elevated
position. You must give ample powers to your city authorities, You must
also place them in a position where they can exercise their own sound
There is no cause to despair of the future of the city. Let her maintain
her honor to the last, pay the interest upon her bonds punctually, and
if she must at last fail, let her sink into the grave with her honor
Yours truly, PETER H. BURNETT.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Rise of the American River at Folsom-Rain in the Interior.
FOLSOM, December 23--6 P. M.
The American river has raised at the rate of
one foot per hour, and stands within seven feet of the greatest hight, and
is still rising.
9 P. M.--It is raining hard at Folsom, Placerville, Strawberry and Coloma.
THE STORM AND THE LEVEES.--In consequence of the prevalence of the storm
during yesterday, and the unfinished condition of the levees at various
points, our city was kept throughout the day in a feverish state of
excitement. The rain of Sunday continued with but little intermission,
though moderate in degree, during the night. Anxiety was of course felt
in the morning concerning the stage of the rivers, and the chances of
protecting the city from a second inundation. The Sacramento had fallen
some three inches during the night, and at half past seven o'clock there
were no signs of a rise in the American at its mouth. Soon after eight
o'clock the American commenced to swell, and at eleven o'clock information
arrived from Rabel's tannery to the effect that it had risen seven feet
in three hours. Simultaneously with this report, telegraphic information
was received from Folsom that the river at that point was as high as on
the occasion of the late flood. Soon afterward it was rumored that the
levee at the tannery had given way, and subsequently at Smith's Garden,
then at Burns' slough, and that the water at these points respectively
was coming rapidly into the city. The truth of the matter was, that the
American was not, at any time, at Folsom, at Barns' slough or at Rabel's
tannery, so high by several feet as it was on the 9th of December; neither
was there any break in the levee at any point during the day. At the
tannery the rise was sudden and rapid in the forenoon. In the afternoon
the water rose at the rate of about six inches to the hour. At three
o'clock in the afternoon it was not so high by four feet as during the
former flood. Some twenty-five men, under the control of W. Turton,
were kept at work at this point during the day. They were engaged chiefly
in completing the new embankment, though some attention was given to
strengthening the old levee. At Burns' slough, about one hundred and
fifty men and twenty five teams with wagons were kept at work throughout
the day. The members of the Committee of Safety were there the most
of the time. All efforts of men and teams were directed to the construction
of a permanent embankment across the slough the entire length being
about 150 feet. The constant rain impeded greatly the progress of the
work. The earth was difficult to handle. The men became wet and chilled
by the rain, and early in the day a portion of them abandoned their work,
and the remainder were induced to continue only by being offered double pay.
During the day an embankment some eight feet high was built, but the water
rose so rapidly as to keep within from six to twelve inches of the top.
Gunny sacks were used wherever they could be to advantage. At dark a large
number of lanterns were procured and preparations were made to work all
night. All efforts, however, were unavailing, and at about six o'clock
the new embankment broke, and in a few minutes was swept away. The labor
of the last two days was destroyed in less than an hour.
A SECOND INUNDATION.--At about half past six o'clock last evening the
bells of Young America and Protection fire companies were rung, and the
fact soon became known that the alarm did not indicate fire, but flood.
Soon after six o'clock, while the workmen were still at work, the new
embankment at Burns' slough had given way, and several horsemen brought
speedy word to the city of the occurrence. At the suggestion of members
of the Committee of Safety, Eli Mayo came in with a request to the
parties at the above named engine houses to ring their bells. The city
was at once alive with excitement. Many rumors were soon in circulation
as to the locality, extent and effects of the openings in the levee. Men
by hundreds were out with lanterns to determine for themselves the extent
and character of the danger. Many of them were unable to find anything
unsound, and returned to their homes impressed with the idea that a
groundless alarm had been sounded. Some three hundred and fifty persons--men,
women and children--repaired to the Pavilion, and were received and taken
care of during the sight. It was quite difficult to ascertain through the
evening the quantity of water flowing from the American river at the break,
the exact course it was likely to take, or the probable effect upon the
city. At about nine o'clock the bell of Protection Engine Company and
that of St. Rose Church were both rung. At that hour the water was coming
in from the east, both north and south of I street, and had reached
Twentieth street. Its effect had not baen felt at the southern portion of
the city, at Fifth and Sixth streets. ;As our report closes, at half-past
ten o'clock, it is difficult to say how far the water will extend. It is
generally believed that the eastern and southern portion of the city will
be flooded, but that the central and business portion will escape. Up to
our latest advices the levees at the tannery were still standing, and it
was thought they would maintain their position unless the river should
rise considerably through the eight. According to telegraphic information
received last evening from Folsom, the American river was not so high as
two weeks ago by seven feet. It was still raining at that place, and also
at Placerviile, Strawberry and Coloma at nine o'clock in the evening.
The rain continued in this city at intervals throughout the evening.
On one occasion the stars made their appearance through openings in the
clouds, but they soon disappeared. At eleven o'clock last night the water
had reached Tenth and L streets, and stood at that point about a foot deep. . . .
THE RAIN.--At nine o'clock last evening the quantity of rain which had
fallen during the past twenty four hours, as reported by Dr. Logan, was
1.200 inches. The wind was still in the southwest.
THE SACRAMENTO.--The Sacramento rose during yesterday about ten
inches--standing at sundown at 19 feet 8 inches above low water mark. . . .
THE SLOUGH.--The rise of the water in Sutter slough, yesterday, was
about eighteen inches. . . .
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
MONDAY. Dec. 23 1861.
The Board met at one o'clock P. M.--two hours later than the time fixed
at the last adjournment. President Shattuck, and Supervisors Granger,
Hite, Russell and Dickerson, were present. . . .
A communiction was received from G. W. Colby proposing to oblige himself
to build a bridge across Burns' slough, on J street, ninety-six feet long
and twelve feet in width, in accordance with an accompanying plan, for
$10 per lineal foot, payable in tolls to be collected at rates not more
than fifty per cert less than the present charges on the ferry running
at that point. If at any time the Board thought proper to dispense with
tolls, he would accept payment for the balance in city indebtedness at
$40 per foot. The dimensions of timbers, planks, etc., are minutely
specified. The floor of the bridge is to be ten feet above the present
hight of water in the slough. For a double track bridge, eighteen feet
wide in the clear, he would add fifty per cent. to the above prices.
On K street he would build a bridge one hundred and twelve feet long
at the same rates.
Supervisor Hite said the Committee had visited the place this morning,
and examined the structure propceed [sic] to be sold to the city by
Benjamin and McWilliams, and the Committee had decided to let the
ferries remain, and build no bridges at present, but require the
parties running ferries there to procure licenses. There were three
ferries, two of which had no license
Supervisor GRANGER said he understood the Committee to be in favor of
allowing Benjamin & McWilliams to continue their ferry, at the rates
fixed for the ferry on K street, on their paying thirty dollars for the
license, and with Supervisor Hite's consent he would make that a part of
the report. It would be difficult to build a bridge there now, but easy
enough at a proper season, and whenever a bridge should be built there
it ought to be much larger than the one proposed. Experience showed that
if the slough was not stopped up the water would require a passage way
of at least one hundred feet.
Supervisor RUSSELL said there was a proposition on the part of McWilliams
& Benjamin to give up their structure at the end of thirty days, and
he would move the acceptance of that proposition.
Mr. McWILLIAMS, by leave of the Board, said their proposition was to
keep J street in as good repair as at present for thirty days from date,
and at the end of that period, Jan. 23, 1862--to turn their boat over to
the city in as good condition as at present.
The report of the Committee granting a ferry license to
McWilliams & Benjamin for thirty days, on payment of $30, was adopted,
and the proposition to turn the property over to the city at the end of
that time was accepted.
The PRESIDENT called attention to the claim of A. D. Rightmire, for
expenses incurred on his contract to build a bulkhead at Rebel's
tannery, and said Rightmire had been compelled to hire money with
which to do the work, at two per cent, per month. He was now paying
that rate of interest on $3,500, and could not return a part of it
until he paid the whole, and the Board ought to take action immediately.
Supervisor HITE said he had a resolution to offer on that subject, and
submitted a resolution that the sum of $4,009 be appropriated to A. D.
Rightmire, payable out of the City Contingent Fund, for cash paid cut for
lumber, etc., provided that if within twenty-four hours the Citizens'
Committee shall pay him the sum of $1,002.25 in cash, he shall fully
release the city from the claim.
The resolution was adopted.
Supervisor RUSSELL said the Committee appointed to confer with the
Citizens' Committee on this subject had not yet been able to meet with
a quorum of that Committee, but they hoped to give them a chance to
redeem the city's credit, by paing [?] this $1,000 in order to save
$4,000. He had no doubt that this was a legitimate subject for the
Committee's expenditure, yet they might construe their authority
differently. If there were time, he would like to get an expression
of the citizens on this subject, as the Citizens' Committee seemed to
regard such an expression necessary.
Supervisor HITE said be would like to have Mr. Rightmire make a statement
to the Board, under oath, to show the necessity for this action.
The PRESIDENT objected that that would look like child's play, as
Mr. Rightmire had previously made his statement to the Board, and
the matter was now disposed of.
Supervisor HITE said he wanted the public to understand why they were
compelled to vote so large a sum. The public might think the city paper
worth more in the market.
Supervisor RUSSELL said he thought it would be well to call on
Mr. Rightmire to make a statement; it was only to show that twenty-five
per cent, was all that the scrip could be sold for.
Mr. RIGHTMIRE said he had not the slightest objection, and was sworn
by the President.
Supervisor HITE asked if he had canvassed the market to ascertain the
value of city indebtedness.
Mr. RIGHTMIRE replied that he had seen all the men that he knew of who
dealt in scrip, and could find but one man who would take it at any price,
and he said he would take it at twenty-five per cent.
The PRESIDENT expressed an earnest hope that the Finance Committee would
use their best efforts to induce the citizens to pay this money. He thought
it was clearly their business to pay it, as they had taken the contract
out of the hands of the Board.
Supervisor RUSSELL reported from the Finance Committee in favor of paying
the bill of A. D. Rightmire for $4,009, according to the resolution. The
report was approved.
The monthly report of the Finance Committee was read and approved, including
the Rightmire claim of $4,009. . . .
Supervisor RUSSELL moved that the parties asking aid for the Howard
Benevolent Society be allowed to withdraw their application. Carried.
Patrick Bannon appeared before the Board, asking for a change and slight
increase in the rates of toll established at his ferry across the slough,
at the present rates were very inconvenient and troublesome in making change.
On motion of Supevisor RUSSELL,.the rates were fixed, tor [sic] one or
two horse wagons twenty five cents, and twenty-flve cents additional for
each additional span--footmen free.
The bond of Mr. Bannon, $1,000, was approved.
Supervisor HITE said he was just now informed that the water was coming
into the city rapidly from the American river, and he would like to have
an alarm given.
Mr. Bannon said that must be an error. He had seen one of the Committee,
who had just returned from the slough, and he was informed that there was
Supervisor DICKERSON called attention to the condition of the levee below
the city, and said there never could be a better time for repairing it
The PRESIDENT said that whole matter was now in the hands of the so
called Vigilance Committee.
Supervisor GRANGER said he was ready to act if any one could tell what
could be done.
Supervisor DICKERSON said the only thing to do was to go to work and repair it.
Supervisor GRANGER submitted the following ordinance, which was read a
first and second time:
An Ordinance concerning the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company.
The Board of Supervisors of the city and county of Sacramento, do hereby order and ordain as follows :
Section 1. The Sacramento Valley Railroad Company having violated,
and failed, neglected and refused to comply with the terms and conditions
upon which it was granted the right of way with and through the city, all
ordinances and parts of ordinances passed by the late Mayer and Common
Council of the city of Sacramento, or by the Board of Supervisors of the
city and county of Sacramento, granting the said Sacramento Valley Railroad
Company the right of way into the city, or the privilege to construct
and lay down railway tracks within the city, or granting it any rights,
franchises, privileges or immunities within the city limits, are hereby
Sec. 2. The right of way is hereby granted to said Sacramento Valley
Railroad Company to make and maintain the necessary embankments, and
to construct and lay down railway tracks thereon, on and along the line
of R street, from the eastern limits of the city to a point one hundred
and fifty feet east of the east bank of Sutter Fort slough; and from
thence to construct and maintain said railway tracks upon open and
unobstructed trestle work, without any embankment or filling in of any
kind or nature whatsoever, to a point one hundred and fifty feet west
of the west bank of said slough; and from thence to make and maintain
the necessary embankment for such railway track on and along said R
street to the east line of Sixth street; and said Company is also hereby
authorized to lay down one or more tracks, with all the necessary
turnouts, such tracks and switches upon the aforesaid portion of R street,
on a road bed constructed in the manner aforesaid, and also upon any
street or alley between L and R, and Sixth and Tenth streets, which may
be selected by said Company as necessary to obtain sufficient curvature
for the purpose of communicating with and running their locomotives and
cars to their depot, which said depot may be erected at any point within
said limits; and said Company may at its option use either horse or steam
power on said road; and said Company is also authorized to use so much of
the R street levee as lies east of Sixth street; provided, however, that
nothing herein shall authorize said Company to cut away any portion of
said R street levee, or in any manner to reduce its hight or width from
the hight and width set forth for said levee on the plans and specifications
thereof on file in the City and County Surveyor's office; and provided,
further, that said Company shall not acquire any rights under this
ordinance untll it shall have graded Sixth street and each of the streets
crossing the R street levee east of Sixth street, in the manner prescribed
in "Ordinance No. 62--an ordinance relating to the grade of streets
crossing the R street levee," approved November 12, 1859, and shall also
have constructed on the north side of said levee, at the bottom of the
ditch, and under and through each of said street crossings, a stone culvert,
or wooden sewer made of three inch redwood plank, with a clear opening of
at least twelve square feet of drainage; and provided further, That nothing
in this ordinance contained shall be taken or construed to authorize the
erection of any cistern, water tank, or building, or the placing or
maintaining of any obstruction whatever, excepting only the necessary
rails on either of the streets or alleys of the city, and excepting only
that said company may erect the necessary water tanks and cisterns on
the R street levee, provided the same are at least fifty feet from the
nearest line of any cross street; and provided further, That the tracks,
turnouts, side tracks, turn tables and switches shall be so constructed
as to leave free from obstruction, and so that they may be conveniently
used for the passage of vehicles, animals and pedestrians, the streets
and alleys used by said company; and provided further, That if said
company shall at any time remove its principal office from this city,
or if it shall construct or connect with any railway track terminating
outside of the city, but in Sacramento county, within one mile of the
Sacramento river, and if said company shall fail, neglect or refuse to
comply with each and every of the terms of [sic] conditions of the
ordinance, then every right, privilege, immunity and franchise granted
by this ordinance shall cease and determine, and said company, its
successors and assigns, shall remove their track or tracks, together
with the appurtenances, from the city limits.
Supervisor RUSSELL offered an amendment inserting a provision that the
ordinance shall be void, etc, if the Rallroad Company shall at any time
make a distinction in the price of freight or passage between citizens
of Sacramento and other persons by any regulation in regard to transhipment,
through tickets or otherwise.
The PRESIDENT said that suited his views exactly, but it struck him that
the Board of Supervisors had no right to regulate the price of freight or
passage on the railroad.
Supervisor GRANGER was also of opinion that it would be a dead letter.
If they could insert it in a contract with the Company they might hold
them to it, but he questioned very much whether they could fix the prices
The PRESIDENT said he had been very credibly informed that the Railroad
Company had been in the habit of charging about double the rates of
freight to Scramento that they charged to other places.
Supervisor RUSSELL said he only offered the amendment to have it
discussed, and with no view of passing it as a part of the ordinance
The amendment having been discussed was withdrawn.
Supervisor GRANGER moved to suspend the rules in order to put the
ordinance on its final passage.
Supervisor RUSSELL said they had not yet had time to consider it fully,
and he thought they had better lay it over.
The PRESIDENT said he would have no objection to passing it now if there
were any necessity for immediate action, but there were only four members
of the Board present, and hs thought it had better be postponed.
Supervisor GRANGER said his objection to postponement was that the
introduction of the ordinance would afford an excuse to the company
in the interim to proceed and fill up a portion of the space proposed
by the ordinance to be kept open. Unless they could have another
meeting within two or three days, with a chance of getting a fuller
attendance of members, he should press the motion to suspend the rules
now. His object was to inform the company upon what terms they could
be permitted to come into the city. They had violated every ordinance,
and he now proposed to begin anew with them.
The PRESIDENT said he was sorry to see half a dozen ordinances on this
same subject, when the whole matter might have been disposed of in one. .
On motion of Supervisor RUSSELL, the Board adjourned until to-morrow
(Tuesday) at twelve o'clock M.
PERILS ON THE MOUNTAINS.--A correspondent of the Tuolumne Courier,
writing from Aurora under date of Nov. 25th, relates the following hard
I left Mono on the 20th, and was overtaken by a violent snow storm, which
continued for twenty-four hours; thank God I succeeded in getting through
alive, and am around as usual. But first of Mono: The annual snow storm
of Mono commenced on the night of the 10th, and with but slight intermission
continued up to the 13th. The snow fell to the depth of from two to three
feet. On the night of the 13th, the large building known as Hate & Hughes'
saloon, from the pressure of snow upon the roof, gave way and came down
with a terrible crash, burying in the ruins Bob Lowdon and Isaac Sherman,
who were sleeping upon the tables near the room. Sherman was not very
seriously hurt, but Lowdon was much bruised, and perhaps inwardly injured.
It is a most remarkable circumstance that they escaped with their lives.
The billiard table was forced through the floor, and in fact every part of
the furniture and contents demolished. Lowdon is cared for by Downey and
wife, and his friends may rest assured that nothing will be left undone
which will tend to ameliorate his unfortunate condition, and as soon as
the weather will permit an effort will be made to bring him to this place.
On the 19th the weather was beautiful, and not the slightest appearance of
a storm; in company with Joseph Pettigrew (formerly of Sonora), I left
Mono for Aurora. After reaching the Half Way House (fifteen miles) we felt
able to go on, and thinking we would have moonlight we might get through
in the night. We had an animal packed, and got along very well for a few
miles, but in less than an hour we were overtaken by a snow storm, which
gradually increasad in violence until it blew a perfect hurricane. How
long we struggled through the snow drifts I cannot say, but we since know
that we reached a point within seven or eight miles of Aurora, when the
wind suddenly changed and blew directly in our faces. It now became a
matter of life or death with us, and we struggled on manfully for a short
distance, but becoming perfectly exhausted, no longer could we push our
way through. Here we lost the road, and fearing that any further effort
would subject us to being frozen to death--sick at heartand perfectly
exhausted, feeling we were lost forever--we turned in all directions
, and looked shelter, but there was none--not a tree, not a shrub,
no, not even the oft-cursed sage bush appeared, to cheer us in this
Oar last hope was in our blankets, and finding a sage bush, we tied our
animal, threw them down and covered up as best we could. By this means
we managed to keep from freezing until day dawned upon us, Notwithstanding
the storm still raged with increasing violence, daylight was a truly
welcome visitor. Benumbed and almost helpless, we crawled out from
under the snow, and leaving six pair of blankets, saddle-bags with
clothing, carpet sack, boots, etc., managed to untie our poor animal,
which stood before us almost literally covered with ice and snow. We
knew we were off the road, and for tvo hours we labored incessantly to
find some trace of it, and after wandering for that length of time
through snow from four to five feet deep, we reached a point overlooking
the valley below, where we discovered the road, and in another hour we
knew where we were--some six miles from Aurora. Here we found some
willows, and vainly endeavored to kindle a fire. Again we took the road,
which was up the mountain for over two mile, I in front leading the
animal and breaking the road, while my companion was fast freezing and
suffering the most excruciating pains. Occasionally I would assist him
upon the animal, but the frequent snow drifts we would encounter would
compel him to alight. Thus, foot by foot, we slowly worked our way up
the long hill.
Upon reaching the summit we were within a mile of Esmeralda, but had a
terrible task before us. I felt exhausted, and insisted upon being
allowed to lay down for half an hour, but fortunately Pettigrew felt
better and I suddenly appeared to gain strength. His hands having been
badly frozen now felt more comfortable, and it became him in turn to
place me upon the animal. I could only keep the saddle, however, for
but one or two minutes at a time, it being impossible to ride through
the snowdrifts, in this way we rode, walked and crawled until we reached
the first occupied cabin in Esmeralda (one mile and a half from Aurora),
which proved to be that of Kile, who, assisted by his kind hearted lady,
God bless her, procured us a cup of tea and furnished us with snow and
snow water, in which we continued to bathe our frozen hands and feet for
over three hours. Pettigrew was unable to proceed any further last night,
but I, after enjoying a good supper with onr generous host and hostess,
wended my way down to Aurora. I have been fortunate enough to escape
with comparatively little injury, but poor Pettigrew's hands are
dreadfully frozen, notwithstanding the remedies employed to save them.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3352, 25 December 1861, p. 1
. . .
[For the Union]
THE SO-CALLED VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
Supervisor DICKERSON called attention to the condition of the levee below
the city, and said there never could be a better time for repairing it
The PRESIDENT said that whole matter was now in the hands of the so-called
Supervisor GRANGER said he was ready to act if any one could tell what
could be done.
Supervisor DICKERSON said the only thing to do was to go to work and
repair it.--Union, Dec. 24th.
MESSRS. EDITORS: If the so-called Vigilance Committee" alluded to
by the distinguished President was organized for the ends that Vigilance
Committees sometimes are, the honorable gentleman might find it
inconvenient to make satisfactory answers to such questions as they
would without doubt propose. When their authorized officer would demand
from Mr. Shattuck why he suffered the Summer months to be spent in
frivolous or worse debate which should have been devoted to that species
of legislation that would have averted the terrible calamity just befallen
us, which has changed hundreds of happy homes into loathsome wildernesses
and has driven thousands to seek protection from the combined charity of
the people of this city and San Francisco, we apprehend that Shattuck's
sneer at the "so called Vigilance Committee" would give place to
a very different expression. The Board of Supervisors, with Shattuck as
Captain General, are responsible for the misfortunes we are now suffering
from. They were warned and cautioned a thousand times of the danger the
city was in from the imperfect condition of the levees, but disregarding
every admonition and every solicitation, they obstinately refused to do
the only thing they seemed capable of--vote the people's own money for
their protection. Summer passes away, Autumn follows in its train, and
when Winter comes and the front of Heaven is pregnant with fearful
threatenings, the sapient Board conclude a contract for our protection,
the performance of which is to commence on the 12th of December--mid
winter--the people know the rest. The 9th of December came with all
its horrors. It can now be traced in the faces of many stout men and
fair women. The toils of years were in one hour destroyed--the hopes
of years in one moment blasted; and now when the generous and charitable
come forward to seek to secure to their unfortunate fellow citizens
the little that is left, the author of all our troubles alludes to
them with a sneer, for which and for his ignorance alone he is celebrated,
as the "so called Vigilance Committee." There is no Vigilance
Committee in Sacramento. None to punish malfeasance in office, or mete
out prompt and immediate justice to those who wilfully trample on the
rights of others, but there is a Committee here who have sworn in the
bitterest tears of agony and distress that they will henceforward protect
themselves against ignorance and cupidity, and that they will call to a
severe account those who are more immediately responsible for their
present grievances. How they shall do so or when, the President of the
Board of Supervisors will hereafter learn.
A FRIEND TO THE
"SO CALLED VIGILANCE COMMITTEE."
THE STORM AT MARYSVILLE.--The Marysvilla Appeal of December 24th,
gives some particulars of the effects of the second great storm at that
place. It says :
So much rain here and above Marysville, caused the Yuba to rise slowly
all day Sunday, and at a late hour last night the stream was thought
to have raised about twelve feet since Saturday night, and was still
rising. The Feather, usually several hours behind the Yuba in rising,
had not commenced rising any, at last accounts; consequently the Yuba
was running with a swift current, not being set back by the Feather, but
the slough has been set back from the Yuba, and was running over its banks
at its lowest points, just above the Third street bridge, flooding all
that thoroughfare below E street, and making an island of Williams'
flouring mill. As long as the Feather does not rise, there is not the
least danger to be apprehended from the Yuba at this point, although
the telegraphic items elsewhere indicate a rising on the upper
branches. But the stream has to rise a long way to be near the high
water mark of the last flood. Preparations were made last night to
repel the advances of any freshet by embankments made along Commercial
alley, in the rear of Van Muller & Co.'s store, and many families
from the country come into town for safety last night, and several
families on the west side of the slough, drowned out by the last flood,
left their habitations again for fear they might be obliged to leave in
the night. Across the Yuba, opposite town, the water is making a clean
sweep across the spit of land between the Yuba and Feather. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
We are advised that the principal streams north and northeast of
Sacramento rose considerable yesterday from the heavy rains, but the
effect was not marked on the waters of the Sacramento and American.
The former rose only about ten inches for the last twenty-four hours,
and the latter fell about one foot. In that portion of the city which
was submerged yesterday morning by the crevasse at Burns' slough on the
night previous, the water gradually subsided during the day. Last night
it was generally believed that all danger had passed, though some were
fearful that a further rise of the Sacramento might back the waters of
the American over the levee at Rabel's tannery. This could hardly be the
case, as we were informed last night at the Telegraph office that the
American river at Folsom had fallen six feet from the mark of the
A man whose name is supposed to be William H. Tymanor, or Tyman, was
drowned yesterday while attempting to go on board the Nevada.
THE RIGHTMIRE CONTRACT.--A few days since, the Supervisors entered into
a contract with A. D. Rightmire to build a breakwater at Rabel's tannery.
The season was so far advanced that we doubted the policy of entering into
a contract to do the work. The better plan, we conceived, would be for the
Levee Committee to have it done by the piece and by the day. But that
Committee thought proper to let the work on contract to Rightmire for
$17,000 in scrip, or $7,500 in cash, he giving bond and security to
complete it in a given number of days. The river rose in about a week
after the contract was signed, the floods came and rendered it impossible
for Rightmire to do the work as required by the terms of his contract.
The rise of water also showed a change in the current of the river, which
rendered the piling and planking at the tannery unnecessary. Rightmire
would be liable on his bond if the work was not completed as per contract,
and the common sense course for the Board would have been to say to him,
we will release you from your contract and bond if you desire it. But
the Board did not want the contract complied with, and the parties
proposed a compromise. One was finally agreed upon, under which the
Board agree to pay Rightmire his expenses, and the loss he estimates
will be experienced in disposing of the lumber bought. Rightmire's bill
was $1,002.25--cash, to pay which, the Board audit a claim in his favor
for $4,009 as a debt against the city. This was a nice transaction.
The Board first agree to pay $17,000 in city indebtedness for a job for
which the contractor was willing to take $7,500, and then, to get relieved
from this contract, the members agree that the city, at some future day,
shall pay $4,009 for that which could now be satisfied for $1,002.25.
This $4,009 the city is to pay for the blunders of her authorities--or
to be released from a contract of their making, which the contractor
could not perform, and which he would have been compelled to ask to be
rescinded in order to save his bondsmen. Supervisor Hansbrow yesterday
protested against the action of the Board, and by a kind of common
consent the transaction is to rest on the table, upon a motion to
reconsider, until the next regular meeting. So outrageous did the
transaction look yesterday, that Supervisor Russell proposed to pay one
hundred dollars of the claim out of his private funds. If paid at all
it should be by subscription, as the action proposed by the Board is
unquestionably contrary to the provisions of the law, and would be held
null and void by the Courts.
CHRISTMAS.--. . . Although duly mindful of the requirements of the day,
the people of Sacramento do not feel like entering upon its observance
with their olden spirit, weighed down as they are by the heavy affliction
of the flood, but they are ready to extend a kindly greeting to those
who are more favorably situated, and heartily wish them, one and all,
a "Merry Christmas."
STAGE ACCIDENT.--As the Oroville stage was leaving Marysville, Monday
morning, December 23rd, and attempting to cross the slough, the vehicle
was capsized and a Chinese passenger drowned. The stage was lost. . . .
THE LABORS OF THE SUPERVISORS
Since the occurrence of the flood, over two weeks ago, what have the city
authorities done for the protection or relief of the people of the city?
They have, we believe, employed the chain gang in doing a few small jobs,
but beyond that have the members of the Board of Supervisors taken a
single step to defend the city or to put it in a condition to be inhabited
with any degree of satisfaction by those accustomed to the ordinary
comforts of civilized life? So far as we know, the Supervisors have not
so much as furnished plank to build bridges over the ditches through J
and K streets, dug by individuals to relieve their houses and lots of
water. Not an effort has been made by them to repair the streetaso [sic]
as to render them passable east of Tenth street for loaded wagons. Not a
sewer has been made or a ditch cut to aid in relieving the city of water,
by order of the Board of Supervisors. The levees and their repairs are
turned over to the Committee of citizens. Not even a contract for a
bridge over the slough, the builder to take his pay in tolls, has been
let, though seventeen days have passed since the flood. A ferry or two
have been licensed, but ferries are a poor substitute for bridges. One
of the parties granted a license agrees to keep J street in as good
condition as it now is; it is now nearly impassable for loaded wagons.
Both J and K need a good deal of work from Tenth street to the slough,
and if tolls are to be paid for crossing it, the toll gatherers should
be bound to put both those streets into good order for the season.
There has been no work of consequence done on them since 1853, and as
the Board of Supervisors act as if they were helpless in the matter, the
members ought certainly to see that those who collect the tolls should
do the work necessary to place them in a reasonably good condition for
traveling. There is hay enough in the city ruined by the flood, if
hauled upon those streets, to fill the holes and deep cuts made by
loaded wagons. Unless something is done in the way of repairing them,
they will soon become impassable.
The Board may plead in excuse for not doing anything for the relief
of the city the absence of money in the treasury and the total
destruction of the city's credit. True, cash is wanting, but in an
exigency like the present our city authorities ought to possess
financial ability and personal character sufficient to enable them
to raise the money so absolutely needed for self protection.
In 1852 the fire swept out of existence three-fourths of the capital
in the city; a few days subsequent the ruins were engulphed in the
waters of the American, and for a time it looked as if the fate of
Sacramento was sealed. The credit of the city was then about as low
as it could sink. On the credit of the corporation the Mayor could
not purchase plank to cover a half dozen bridges destroyed by the
fire. But the authorities, on their personal credit and the pledge
that the money should be returned by a special tax, borrowed $20,000,
and commenced work vigorously to place the city again in a living
condition. It was a desperate struggle, but the authorities succeeded.
The city is now millions richer than she was at that time, but the
authorities were unable to get credit or to borrow a few thousands
upon a pledge of future reimbursement through the taxing power. They
left for private citizens to do what should have been performed by
those in authority. It was the conviction in the public mind that the
Board of Supervisors was not equal to the occasion, which mainly caused
the people at first to turn to the Interest and Sinking Fund for relief.
But if the credit of the city is down almost to the freezing point, who,
besides the present and past Boards of Supervisors, are responsible for
the miserable condition of the city finances? The Board has been year
after year auditing claims against the city funds, when the members knew
there was not a dollar to pay them. This practice has continued until
claims on the Contingent Fund are estimated by the Board itself as only
worth twenty-five cents on the dollar. In settling with the Controller
for work which was to have been done at Rabel's tannery, but which
cannot now be done, and ought not to be if it could, the Board allow
him in city indebtedness $4,009, for a claim for which he would accept
in cash $1,002.25. Such financial operations would soon beggar the
richest city on the globe.
It must, however, be admitted that the Board of Supervisors has been very
earnestly engaged for several days during its late regular session--not
in adopting measures for the relief of a people prostrated by the flood,
but in the passage of ordinances aimed at the Sacramento Valley Railroad,
which are certain to involve the city in expensive litigation with the
company without gaining a single step towards the end the members had in
view. Had the Board proceeded legally it might have initiated proceedings
which would have resulted probably in forcing the company to take up its
tracks on Front street, and to build its freight and passenger depot on
Sixth street. But as every move it made was of questionable legality, the
result must be a lawsuit in which the city will prove the sufferer. There
is, however, some consolation to be gathered from the reflection that
these acts of folly and imbecility on the part of the Board will
strengthen the public mind in the conviction of the absolute necessity
of repealing so much of the Consolidation bill as unites the city
and county. . . .
WORK BY THE CITIZENS' COMMITTEE.
A few days more of reasonably favorable weather would have enabled the
Citizens' Committee to so far complete the work at Burns' slough as to
have placed the levee beyond the reach of the water in any ordinary
flood. It would in a couple of days have been in a position to defy
the water when no higher than it was Monday and the night following.
But the Committee only had about five days to work in; they pushed it
along energetically, but when the river rose so suddenly they lacked
a couple of feet of being high enough to keep the water from flowing
over the new portion of the levee, and carrying away in a few minutes
the results of the labor of the men employed. The work done at Rabel's
tannery is likely to prove equal to any future emergency. The release
of so many men at Burns' slough, will enable the Committee to complete
the work at the tannery, in a substantial manner. The Committee will be
left free to deal with the levee from Thirty-first street to the
Sacramento, and down that river to Y street.
There is a point between Sixth and Seventh streets, on the slough,
which has been weakened by Chinamen digging places on the inside to set
their washing apparatus, and also by the encroachments of others on the
outside. This point ought to be strengthened materially and immediately.
The levee on the Sacramento below R street ought also to be attended to.
It is not safe as it stands. A new levee should be raised back of the
old one. Below that to Y street the levee needs raising and its width
increased. There has been little work expended on that levee since it
was built, in 1850; it has settled and been worn down by travel until
it is probably from a foot to eighteen inches lower than it was when
built. No further work can be done at Burns' slough until the river
falls several feet; but in the meantime work may be performed on
the line of levee between that point and Thirty-first street.
After the water broke over on Monday evening it followed the old line
of slough down to the Thirty-first street levee, near the eastern
termination of F, G and H streets, where the previous flood effected
a serious breach in the levee. A road crossed it at this point, and
the water crossed first on the road and subsequently cut the levee
away on each side, so as make quite a crevasse. It was through this
a portion of the water from the slough made its way Monday night north
of J street, and as this street is raised to nearly the elevation of
the levees, it was forced to extend itself west into the city as far
as Eighth street before it could find an opening for crossing J and K
streets. The effect was to partially submerge that portion of the city
lying immediately north of J street and east of Seventh. There ought
to be a large canal dug through J and K, east of Fourteenth street, so
as to permit water north of J to pass off south towards the R street
levee. As only a small portion of the water flowing through at the head
of Burns' slough comes in at the break near F street, if the Committee
would put a few men to work there they would soon stop the water and
relieve all that portion of the city north of J and east of Seventh.
There is another break a little south of M street, which discharges a
considerable water into the southern section of the city, which might
easily be so far closed as to relieve the city of water from that
source. While the slough remains open at the head, the particular
breaks in the Thirty-first street levee, which admit water into the
city, might advantageously be closed so far as to shut out the water
which comes into the city from these openings. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Identified--The Savings and Loan Bank Panic--Rough Weather on the Pacific Coast--Broderick Will Case.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 24th. . . .
Frederick Jerome, a boatman, found the body of an infant in the water
at North Point, to-day. . . .
Vessels from the Northern coast report rough weather. The bark Nellie
Merrill went ashore on Agment reef, but got off and came into port
leaking badly. Vessels outward bound had to put back in consequence
of the weather. . . .
It is still raining here.
FURTHER FLOOD IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Jacksonville Sentinel of Dec. 14th
gives some particulars of an additional flood with which the people of
Southern Oregon have been visited:
On last Sunday we were visited with a much more destructive flood than
that of the previous week. On the night of Friday, Dec. 6th, a heavy rain
set in, and continued to pour down heavily almost without intermission
until Sunday morning. This body of water pouring into the channels which
were yet full from the flood of the preceding week, was too great for
the ordinary bounds of the streams, and in consequence it spread over
a considerable portion of the valley. The lower portion of our own town
was submerged from the waters of Jackson creek, and the valley was
converted into a group of numberless small islands and lakes. Jacksonville
and the immediate vicinity has sustained no material damage, but from
other portions of the county we learn that the losses have been very
It is said that Neal's Canon, beyond Ashland, through which a stream
of water was running, on Sunday, became clogged by accumulated drift
logs, and backed up an immense body of water. Under the heavy pressure
the dam gave way, and the water rushed with irresistible velocity down
the valley, carrying everything before it. By this torrent we understand
that William Taylor lost his outhouses, grain, etc. We have not
particulars as to the full extent of damage, but the loss must be heavy.
The farmers along Bear river have suffered. One gentleman who owns a farm
on that stream, tells us that on Sunday he stood by for a while and
watched his properly, in fences, float off at the rate of about one
hundred dollars per hour. He lost a number of horses and several
thousand rails, and without doubt, many others have been equally
There have probably been many heavy losses that we are unable to
record, owing to the interruption of communication, even from portions
of our own county. With the miners, the damages they have suffered
will be more than repaired by the supply of water, which is
indispensably requisite to their profitable labor. It is to be hoped
that the mines may pay well enough to leave a margin of profit to
the community over all losses
The Rogue river bridge, which had weathered the first storm, was not
able to withstand the latter. Its loss, up to the present time has
effectually blocked communication north of us. We think it safe to
say that there is scarcely a bridge left in its position over a
single stream in the county. . . .
THE FLOOD NORTH AND NORTHEAST.--Dispatches to the Marysville Appeal
give the folloving [sic] intelligence under date of December 23d:
At Downieville the river has not raised much since noon, and it is not
so high as was the last flood.
At Foster's Bar, on the North Yuba, and at Freeman's, on the Middle Yuba,
the water is np to the highest mark, and still rising. The South Yuba, at
four o'clock, was np to the highest point, and rising fast.
Deer creek, which runs through Nevada City, is full as high as it was
at the late storm, and rising rapidly.
It continues to rain hard in Downieville, Forest City, Camptonville,
San Juan and Nevada.
CHICO, Dec. 23--9 P. M.
Chico creek is not quite so high as it was at the last flood, but other
creeks in the vicinity are higher. At five o'clock the Sacramento river
was rising a foot an hour.
RED BLUFFS, Dec. 23--9 P. M.
The Sacramento river is as high as it was last year, and still rising. . . .
NORTHERN SIERRA.--The La Porte Messenger of December 2lst has the
We stated last week that $2,000 would not cover the loss sustained
by the owners of the Rabbit creek flume by the freshet, but we are
informed by Underhill that, upon prospecting the gravel in the bed
of the flume, it has given evidence of richness sufficient to guarantee
the belief that it will clean up enough richer in the Spring to
compensate for all damage done the works. The vast amount of gravel
which washed through the channel during the rise moved a great deal
of gold, preparing a rich deposit for future harvest.
At Howland Flat, the Union Company, after working about fifty hands
ten or twelve days, cleaned up over $25,000! with the prospect of
finishing up the washing with about $6,000 more. The Down East Company,
working ten men, clean up weekly, and average about $600 a week
through the season. All the claims are said to be doing well at Howland. . . .
CHRISTMAS.--In consequence of the late flood and continued rains, our
citizens have made but little preparation for the celebration of
Christmas compared with that of former years. Nevertheless, and
although clouds may overhang us physically, and perhaps throw a
shadow over our spirits, we shall generally, it is to be hoped, spend
the day in a becoming manner, making it to ourselves and to each
other a day of joy and gladness. . . .
THE INUNDATION.--Although considerable anxiety and alarm was felt by
our citizens on account of the breaking of the levee at Burns' slough
on Monday night, it proved to be not much of a night for floods after
all. The current swept down the slough past the Fort and Poverty Ridge
with great velocity, and as the slough filled up, made an advance to
the west upon the city. The American was not so high by three or four
feet as it was on the memorable morning of the 9tth of December, and
consequently the progress of the water was much less rapid and less
destructive than on that day. On account of the dilapidated condition
of the Thirty-first street levee, the water seemed to progress along
the whole eastern line with about equal rapidity, coming in north
as well as south of J street simultaneously. By morning, the most
of the city east of Twelfth and south of L streets was inundated.
I, J and K streets, west of 11th and 12th, and L west of 17th, together
with the cross streets, were not reached by the water. Business,
therefore, was but little disturbed, and there was no damage of
consequence done to goods and merchandise. The openings through the
R street levee rendered the fall of the water easy, and throughout
the day a lively current poured through to the south. The water
commenced to recede from the city before noon, and continued to
lower slowly until night. The level of the water at its highest
point was about four and a half feet below that of December 9th.
DROWNED.--At a quarter before two o'clock yesterday afternoon, an
unknown man, while going aboard the steamer Nevada, fell into the
river and was drowned. As he stepped upon the plank, one end of it
slipped from the boat, which was rocking considerably at the time,
and both man and plank fell. He came to the surface, and struggled
against the current, but was carried several rods down stream. Three
boats started to his relief, but failed to reach him. The body sunk,
and has not been recovered. A carpet sack which he held in his hand
was picked up, and was sent to the office of Coroner Reeves. It
contained a black cloth dress coat, a white shirt, two pairs socks,
a Testament, neckerchief, razor, etc., etc. On the edge of the leaves
of the Testament were the letters W. H. T. On a fly leaf was the name
"William Hughes Tyman," or something near it. On the collar of the
shirt the name "Noble--75" was stamped in ink with type. The socks
were apparently knit by hand, were of wool, and were marked with
the letters W. H., and numbers 1, 2. etc., marked with a needle.
The articles above referred to will remain at the rooms of the
Coroner for identification.
THE RIVERS AND LEVEES.--The Sacramento river had risen at sunset last
evening ten inches within the preceding twenty-four hours, and stood
twenty-one feet six inches above low water mark, the entire rise of the
past three days being thirty inches. The rise continued until afternoon,
when the river seemed to come to a stand. The American river commenced
to fall earlv in the morning, and lowered some twelve or fifteen inches.
In the afternoon it appeared to be kept at the same point by back water
from the Sacramento. The levees, except those points at Burns' slough,
and westward to the Tivoli, which gave way the night before stood firm
through the day. After dark last evening, however, J. O'Brien came in
from the tannery and stated that should the American raise six inches
higher the levee at that point, old and new, would surely give way, and
the stream would come directly into the city. A few men were sent out
by the Committee of Safety. In a late dispatch from Folsom, last
evening, it is stated that the American river had fallen six feet
since morning. . . .
THE WEATHER.--There were some indications yesterday morning of the
breaking up of the cloudy canopy above us, but the southeasterly
wind worked hard for more rain, and more rain came. It continued
through the greater portion of the day. At about dusk the wind
shifted to the west, the clouds disappeared, the stars presented
a beautiful appearance, the atmosphere became quite cool, and at
eleven o'clock everything looked and felt like clear weather. . . .
CARRIED AWAY.--The flood of water which swept through Burns' slough on
Monday night, when the embankment gave way, carried off both the ferry
boat and the temporary bridge at the Fort. On this account, and from
the fact that J and K streets were badly washed, there was little
or no travel in that direction yesterday. . . .
THE PAVILION.--Some four hundred persons lodged at the Pavilion on
Monday night. Five or six hundred persons were fed there yesterday
and about two hundred were accommodated there last night. . . .
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 1861.
The Board met at fifteen minutes before one o'clock, the Presldent and
Supervisors Granger, Hite, Hansbrow and Dlckerson in attendance . . .
The ordinance concerning the Sacramento Valley Railroad, introduced
yesterday by Supervisor Granger, was taken up.
Supervisor HANSBROW offered an amendment in section two--striking out "L"
and interesting [sic] "O"--so as to authorize the company to lay down
tracks, etc , "upon any street or alley between O and R and Sixth and
Tenth streets which may be selected by said company, etc. This, he said,
would give them the range of twelve blocks, which he thought was quite
The amendment was adopted.
Supervisor GRANGER moved that the ordinance be placed on its final passage.
Supervisor HITE said he was rather inclined to oppose this ordinance.
He could not see the necessity of giving the company a right of way at
the present time, and the Board had already passed two ordinances in
regard to the railroad, which ought to be enough for the present.
He thought it was the prevailing wish of the people to change the
location of the railroad so as to come in on the north side of the city,
and perhaps if they waited, propositions on that subject, would come from
the Railroad Company. The Board had already forbidden their going west
of fifth street, and he was not in favor of their coming in on the R
street levee at all. The people in his section of the city would prefer
to have no levee there at all.
Supervisor GRANGER said he wanted the ordinance passed to-day, because
if it were delayed, the Railroad Company would have a good excuse in
the future to fill in the Sutter Slough, not having been notified of
any adverse expression of the Board. If eventually the railroad came
in on the north side, it would only be brought about by negotiation
and contract with the city, and that could not be matured and the work
done in less than twelve months. In the meantime where was the railroad
to come? There would be no ordinance to prevent the filling in of the
slough, and once it was filled up, even if the company went on the north
side, either the city would be compelled to remove the filling, or sue
the Railroad Company to compel than to do it. He had no doubt that the
company would fill it up, at least so as to leave only the sixty feet
opening required by the old ordinance, which experience had shown was
not a sufficient passage-way for the water. It was in consequence of
the pressure at that narrow place that the late flood broke through on
J street. Now was the time for the Board to say on what terms it would
allow the railroad to run into the city to Sixth street, and he was
surprised that Supervisor Hite should oppose it, as he had been
particularly anxious to have something done to prevent future
disasters. It was true that they had passed an ordinance to compel
the company to take up their track west of Sixth street, but this
had no relation to that subject, and he was not aware that they had
passed more than one ordinance in relation to the Railroad Company.
If this proposed ordinance required litigation, and the city could
not sustain herself, then let them know it, for the city would be
required to build much higher levees.
Supervisor HITE repeated that his objection was that he did not want
the railroad to come in on R street at all. The road was gone now, and
the Board could restrain them from rebuilding it until they made
arrangements to come in on the north side. He did not see any advantage
in requiring that one hundred and fifty feet of trestle work, for
there were at least two other places in the slough that would need
to be enlarged by the city. He believed the company had forfeited all
their rights, and he was for holding them back until proper arrangements
Supervisor HANSBROW said this ordinance was drawn in accordance with
the old one, and he thought with Supervisor Granger, that whatever was
done should be done now. The Board could go no farther after the passage
of this ordinance, and if then the railroad could, in defiance of their
wishes, run where the company thought proper, at least thielr duty would
be done. If the UNION of this morning was good authority, as it generally
was, although it missed the mark sometimes, when they had a right to
repeal the ordinance allowing the road to be constructed from Sixth
street out, or, in other words, to deter it from entering the city.
Therefore if the judgment of the UNION was correct, the passage of an
ordinance of this kind was requisite and necessary.
Supervisor HITE said the old ordinance provided for removing the track
by giving notice and paying the expense of taking it up, and also in
case of violation of contract on the part of the railroad. In the
latter case, the Board could at any time declare the ordinance granting
the right of way rescinded up to Twelfth street, he believed; and did
not know but it extended to the city limits. That could be done without
notice, and that was the right which he desired to exercise at this time.
Supervisor DICKERSON said this was a matter which the city delegation
ought to decide for themselves, and therefore he did not wish to
interfere, although it was aa important subject.
The PRESIDENT suggested that the matter lie over till a fuller meeting
could be had.
Supervisor GRANGER said he was satisfied, and so was the President
that nine-tenths of the people demanded just such an ordinance, but
he did not think the people desired to require the railroad to
terminate outside of the city, for that would be no advantage either
to the city or the traveling public. [Here Supervisor Russell came
in and took his seat] He (Granger) thought Supervisor Hite was
yesterday in favor of this ordinance, but to-day having read a piece
of criticism which appeared in the UNION the gentleman seemed to have
Supervisor HITE said he had not read the UNION of that day yet
Supervisor GRANGER said he knew what the citizens wanted as well as
the editors of the UNION did, and mingled with them quite as much,
and he knew there was one united expression in favor of this measure.
If the Railroad Company were permitted to rebuild this embankment now,
and afterwards required to remove it, they would say it was a hardship
and the Board ought to have apprised them of its intentions so as to
save the expense, To shut the railroad out to Thirty-first street would
increase the cost of transportation; if it cost six bits to cart to
Sixth street it would probably cost twice as much to Thirty-first street,
and that would be a disadvantage to the city. The damage to the city by
the Railroad filling up the slough was not less than a million and a
half of dollars, and now it was only proposed to specify the length
of the trestle work to replace that filling. It was charged that this
Board of Supervisors should have prevented that filling, but he was
happy to say that it all occurred under the old city organization,
which also passed every ordinance giving rights and privileges to
the railroad, and upon them rested the responsibility. But now, when
by a visitation of the elements they had discovered the evil, they
proposed to do all they could to remedy it. Still he was deposed to
deal liberally, aad not exclude the railroad to Thirty-first street,
and they would be the better disposed to negotiate to come in on the
north side. If the depot were located on Thirty-first street it would
require half an hour more time for citizens to catch the train, so that
it would be a loss of time and increased expense to them as well as to
the traveling public generally.
Supervisor HITE said he would vote for the ordinance although he still
thought it would be better to exclude the railroad entirely in that
direction. If there had been no railroad the late flood would have
been no more disastrous than the one to-day, for all that saved the
city to-day was the water flowing off as fast as it came in through
the various breaks in the levee. But Supervisor Granger's argument
about the additional cost of transportation to Thirty-first street
was the worst one that he could use. If it was an advantage to
remove the railroad terminus to Sixth street, it would be a still
greater advantage to move it to Twelfth street, or even further.
He believed the road ought to come still nearer to the river, if it
could come in a proper place, but he would never consent to allow
the railroad to turn a wheel on Front street
Supervisor GRANGER said there was another argument in favor of having
the terminus on Sixth street. The Sacramento merchants now had to pay
cartage, while those in the interior having their goods transhipped
by railroad paid none, thus placing the Sacramentans at a disadvantage.
Besides, the railroad on Front street was a great inconvenience. He
thought it was only a reasonable protection of our own cltizens to
place the terminus at Sixth street. They owed no sympathy to the
railroad, which, instead of showing gratitude for past favors, had
charged Sacramento twice as much for freight as San Francisco. It was
no advantage to a city to have a railroad pass through it, and Folsom
had grown up at the expense of Sacramento by being the terminus of
The ordinance was passed--yes Supervisors Granger, Russell, Hassbrow,
Hite, Dickerson--5; noes, 0.
On motion of Sapervisor Dickerson, the Clerk was directed to deliver
a copy of the ordinance to the agent of the railroad. . . .
Supervisor HANSBROW asked leave to express his opinion in regard to
the legislation of the Board yesterday concerning A. D. Rightmire's
claim. He did not impugn the motives of any member, yet he looked upon
that act as one of the worst pieces of legislation ever enacted by
the Board. He would have been present yesterday, but after waiting
an hour and five minutes past the time fixed for the meeting, he
was obliged to leave to meet an engagement, and consequently did
not attend. But in the meantime he conversed with Rightmire, and
assured him that he never could consent to such an enormous reduction
as 75 per cent, on the city scrip. He admitted the justice of
Rightmire's claim, but he really thought the Board had not considered
the consequences of its action. He was particularly surprised that
the proposition should have come from a member who had preached
nothing but economy; yet it was upon that gentleman's proposition
that the Board voted to pay $4,009 of money to be paid by the
taxpayers, in order to pay a bill of $1,002. The idea was absurd
and preposterous, and had already created great commotion. People
had asked him what in the name of heaven they were doing. Were they
going to compel the city to repudiate? Such a thing was never before
done as the city fixing the value of its own scrip at 25 cents on
the dollar. He did not wish to injnre Mr. Rightmire, but he protected
[sic] against the action, especially at this crisis, when the taxpayers
were almost on the verge of destruction. It was enough to drive the
city to repudiation, and he did not see how they could avoid it.
He was sorry Supervisor Hite had shown himself so inconsistent in
this matter, and for his part, he would hereafter refuse to expend
a dollar of the City Contingent Fund unless in a case of absolute
necessity. He believed if the Board would reconslder its action,
they could negotiate in some way to obtain the money for Mr. Rightmire.
He would be willing to pay the interest on his whole loan for a month
if necessary, rather than take such a step.
Supervisor RUSSELL moved to reconsider the action of the Board on
Mr. Rightmire's bill, and said he would be one of ten citizens to
advance the money on the claim.
Supervisor HITE said be believed Supervisor Hansbrow had withheld
his name from original contract with Mr. Rightmire. This People's
Committee had taken that whole matter out of the hands of the Board,
and informed them officially that the work was not needed, and they
could save great expense to the city by rescinding the contract.
The Board agreed with Mr. Righmire to do so, paying him in cash for
his expenditures on the contract. The whole Board, Supervisor Hansbrow
included, pledged their word to that agreement. But they had no money,
and it appeared that the city indebtedness was worth only two bits on
the dollar. Whose fault was that--the fault of the Board or of the tax
payers? They had presumed that the Citizens' Committee would pay the
money, but they would take no action on the subject, and there was no
other way in which to redeem their plighted faith than to give
Mr. Rightmire the city indebtedness at the price it would fetch. Still,
he doubtless would be willing to take the money and give up the scrip,
and if anybody had been so ingenious as to devise another plan he
would be happy to hear it.
Supervisor HANSBROW explained that he withheld his name from the
original contract in order to be consistent, as he had opposed it
from the beginning. He proposed that Mr. R. be allowed a bill for
one month's interest on the whole amount borrowed by him, and in
that time he thought they could raise the money. The interest would
only amount to $80 or $90, and if there was no law for it the Board
had at all events accomplished the same thing heretofore without law.
The PRESIDENT sald he and Supervisors Granger and Russell had had
a talk with several members of the Citizens' Committee, but could
not make such impression on them.
Supervisor DICKERSON said as this matter had been referred to as
unprecedented he would ask if there was not a similar case last
summer when it was stated that it would cost $25 cash to raise
an old hulk, and the Board allowed for doing the work a bill of $100.
Supervisor HANSBROW insisted that that was not a parallel case; it
was absolutely necessary to cut down that hulk in order to insure
the safety of millions of property and hundreds of lives.
A. D. RIGHTMIRE said he would like to make a statement, and in the
first place, would ask under what law and with what face he could
come before this Board, or before the Auditor, and ask to be allowed
a bill for interest? There was not a shadow or scintilla of law for it.
Supervisor HANSBROW now said it was just as legal as to take $4,000 to
pay a bill of $1,000.
A. D. RIGHTMIRE said he had taken it upon himself to consult with Figg,
Harris and Knox, of the Citizens' Committee, and they told him they did
not consider that the Committee had anything to do with this matter.
He saw no other way to raise the money, even if they put it off six
months, and they must bear in mind that in the meantime he was the
only party that had to stand the risk.
Supervisor HANSBROW said he would pay his pro rata of the interest for
one month rather than have the Board commit such an act of legislation.
Supervisor RUSSELL said he would do the same.
Supervisor HANSBROW said in spite of the question of legality they had
been compelled to allow similar accounts to parties from time to time,
in order to do justice. They were beginning to learn that the
Consolidation bill would not work.
Supervisor RUSSELL said the only hope of extrication from the dilemma
laid in raising this money outside. He was willing to advance towards
it more than he could well spare, until he could be reimbursed by the
city, and he would be one of the five city members to pay the interest
for a month also.
Supervisor HITE said he was sorry that great financier did not make
his appearance yesterday. He was not acting on the square in coming
in at this late hour, in order to make capital out of this thing.
Why was he not there yesterday to redeem his word as he should and
might have been. He (Hite,) was for retrenchment and economy, but
he was also for dealing honestly and justly. If the credit of the
city was bad it was not their fault, and it was less the fault of
the Consolidation bill than of the taxpayers.
Supervisor GRANGER said the press and the public had demanded the
work at Rabel's tannery, and went on to give a detailed account of
the contract with Rightmire. Even if they paid him the $4,000, the
city would save $14,000 on the contract by the aid of the elements,
and that he regarded as pretty good financiering. If by this Act they
were fixing the value of the city paper, they were compelled to do so
by the force of circumstances. He would pay his share of the interest,
however, If Rlghtmire would consent to postpone the matter at least
till next month. This Board had not created city indebtedness
Supervisor HANSBROW said the only force of circumstances which
compelled the Board to take this course was the representations
of two or three sharpers who dealt in scrip. Were these men to be
allowed to determine the value of the city paper? It was their sworn
duty to regard the city paper as worth dollar for dollar and act
accordingly, and not be guided by men who lived by taking advantage
of the necessities of others.
Supervisor GRANGER asked if Mr. Rightmire would pledge himself to
keep his paper till next meeting, the members guaranteeing the interest.
A. D. RIGHTMIRE.--I will, provided you will allow the matter to remain
as it is
Supervisor GRANGER said that would satisfy him. The Board might act
as if it considered the paper worth dollar for dollar; but they could
not compel men to buy it at that rate, because the buyer had a right
to make at least half of the bargain. He regarded the prohibition of
.the.Consolidatlon Act, against creating indebtedness beyond the annual
revenue, as a failure and said the people demanded its repeal. The
fault was with the taxpayers, for the delinquent tax list for the last
five years had exceeded $50,000, and it was notorious that some of the
wealthiest citiizens had not paid a dollar of tax since 1857. Yet they
had been obliged to keep up the city government, and the police
organization, or allow the city to be overrun by assassins aad
highwaymen. The old city government had run the city in debt purchasing
fire engines, Worthington pumps and so on, and this Board had not
created over $40,000.00 [?] indebtedness. If the delinquent taxes
were paid, there would be money in the treasury to-day. The people
used to pay four per cent taxes without grumbling, but now the rate
was much less, and even including the special taxes, the people of
Sacramento paid less taxes than those of El Dorado and some other
Supervisor HITE moved that the whole subject be postponed till
the first meeting in January, and remain as it now stands before
the Board until that time. Carried.
The Board then adjourned until two o'clock, P. M.., on Monday,
January 6, 1862.
THE FLOOD AT CRESCENT CITY AND SMITH RIVER VALLEY.--The Jacksonville
Sentinel, of December 14th thus refers to the effects of the
late storm in the vicinity of Crescent City and Smith river:
Snow fell on the mountains to the depth of five feet, which went off
with a warm rain; being flood tide, Smith river rose to such a hight
that its banks gave way and a large body of water run through the
farms of Gilson and Cabel and emptied into the lagoon back of Crescent
City. At that place a small stream called Elk creek empties into
the ocean, on either side of which are a number of buildings. The
water from Smith river caused the lagoon to run over into Elk Creek
and increase it to that extent that the buildings referred to were
swept away. On Front street, drift wood, most of which was hewn
timber, supposed to have come from Humboldt and Trinidad, was piled
up ten feet high; this, together with tapping the lagoon so that it
conld run into the ocean, which labor was performed by the Indians,
the city was saved, although the water is said to have been three feet
deep in the buildings on that street. The wharf sustained considerable
damage; one-third of it was carried away in the middle, a large stick
of timber was thrown with great force by the waters over the wharf
and entered the warehouse of Dugan & Wall. The opinion prevails that
the steamer Columbia is lost, as a variety of goods have floated ashore,
some of which were marked "Snyder," Klamath Reservation. In the valley
the loss has been far greater. A Mr. White lost his wife and two
children; they had been taken from his house by the Indians in a canoe,
which capsized. Smith was saved by clinging to a log, where he remained
all night and was taken off by Indians. He lost his farm buildings and
stock. Frank Gay, at the ferry, lost rope and windlass, but saved his
boat and his house by lashing them to a rock. Gilson and Gay, with
their families, were four hours on a rock which stood three feet out
of the water; even this place was very insecure, as driftwood threatened
to sweep them off. Gilson lost all his property. Cornelius G. White
was at Gilson's house with his family when the water reached it they
went to the barn, from which they were rescued by Indians. Cabel lost
his farm, but saved his family by taking them to the Redwoods. The
farms of Lockwood and Mrs. Benjamin were covered with water; the house
of the latter was swept away. Otto, at Bradford's Ford, lost his house.
Buel lost fencing and seventy five head of cattle. Both fisheries were
swept away. Mathias Smith lost farm and stock, including two hundred
head of fat hogs ready for butchering; he was sick at the time, but was
saved by being taken out through the roof of his house. At Fort Dick,
on the lagoon, Yoman lost all of his fencing. John White lost his house,
fencing, etc. Hale lost his ranch, house, barn, etc., and was taken out
of the second story of his house while afloat. The Indians had to leave
their camp, which was on an island at the mouth of Smith river. Hall
lost his saw mill; one of his employes was on a stump twenty-four hours,
and when the current subsided swam ashore. A man by the name of Humboldt,
and another whose name our informant did not learn, were drowned while
attempting to go from the Bald Hills to Crescent City. Taken all together,
the destruction of property in Smith Valley has been fearful. All of the
bridges on the Crescent City road, and two on the pack trail belonging
to Gasquette, have been swept away, with the exception of the one across
Sucker Creek. Lewis will rebuild his bridge immediately. . . .
EXPENSIVE.--ln consequence of the impassable condition of J and K
streets to the fort yesterday, and the absence of the ferry boat at
that point, passengers from Folsom were compelled to come to the city
from the present terminus of the railroad in boats. The price charged
by boatmen varied from two to four dollars per passenger.
POSTPONED.--The funeral of O. V. Chapman, which was to have taken
place at two o'clock yesterday, was postponed until further notice,
in consequence of the difficulty of reaching the cemetery through
the high water.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3353, 26 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
Notwithstanding the uncomfortable stage of the water in portions of
the city, our people observed Christmas day much after the usual fashion,
and, in the evening, some of those who are called by the New Yorkers
"the governing classes" were especially merry.
The Sacramento river remained at a hight of about twenty-two feet above
low water mark yesterday, after eleven o'clock, up to which time it had
been rising. The American fell considerably during the day. The water
in the lower part of the city has probably done but little more harm
than to inconvenience the residents of that region in the matter of
traveling. . . .
THE SECOND FRESHET IN MARYSVILLE.--The Appeal, of December 25th,
thus refers to the second freshet which visited Marysville:
The second freshet of the season set in night before last with a right
smart chance of a rise in the Feather, which soon brought the rising
Yuba over all of the low ground below E street and across the slough
up as far as Fourth street, filling the lower stories of numerous
small buildings, and coming up on a level within four or five feet of
the last flood mark by daylight yesterday morning. But by the middle
of the forenoon it had commenced to fall, and at a late hour last night
had gone down so far as to preclude the possibility of any serious
overflow occurring at this stage of the flood. From above we learn that
the Yuba is falling at Downieviile, San Juan, and other places; and at
Oroville the Feather had fallen several feet up to last night. As the
fall in the Feather at this place is still inconsiderable, the Yuba
does not go down rapidly, and it will be a day or two before the
streams regain their usual channel and hight. . . .
THE FEATHER AT OROVILLE.--A dispatch to the Marysville Express,
dated December 24th, says:
The river here has fallen five feet in the last twenty-four hours.
It was at its hight about 11 o'clock last evening. No accidents have
occurred in this vicinity from this flood, so far as heard from,
except the drowning of a span of horses belonging to John S. Morris,
in a slough near the Prairie House. The man driving the team saved
himself by swimming. He had crossed the same place but a few minutes
before. . . .
MAN DROWNED.--Thomas Campano, a Portuguese who has lately lived on
the Hale place, Mad river, while attempting to cross Little river,
Humboldt county, lately, at its mouth, was drowned. He was fording
the stream, leading his horse, when the force of the current carried
his feet from under him, and he was swept into the ocean.
ROADS.--An up country stage driver informs the Marysville Express
that the roads in the mountains are in pretty fair condition, much
better than one would suppose judging from the late severe storms.
The roads across the plains leading from Marysville are much worse
than those higher up the country. . . .
KILLED BY A LAND SLIDE.--One John Smith was killed by a land slide at
Cold Canon, Sierra county, December 8th. . . .
We publish a letter to-day from John Kirk, who built most of the levees
about the city, in which he expresses the opinion that the cross levees
ought to be repaired, in order to effectually protect the city. But he
concedes that the first work to be done is to repair and strengthen the
levee on the American river. It was Kirk who built the levee at the head
of Burns' slough, in the Winter of 1853, and it was effectually done,
though left a little too low. He expresses the opinion, in which we fully
concur, that the best material for building a levee is earth, firmly packed.
An earthwork embankment, broad enough and high enough, will turn the water
of any river in the world. The material is abundant on the American, and
all that is required is to put it in place, and build high and broad. And,
by the way, while building a levee outside the city, the Citizens'
Committee may save future trouble by obtaining from the owners of the
land along the river a grant of the right of way, and the right to use
all the earth deemed necessary in building the levee.
The condition of things has changed materially since 1853, a fact which
Kirk seems to have overlooked. A necessity existed then for the R street
levee to protect the city against back water. The banks of the Sacramento
were then without levees from Sutterville down. During a rise in the
river, the water flowed freely over its banks into the lakes below
Suttervilie, and from them backed into the city. Since that time,
private enterprise has so far leveed the river as to keep the water
out for some ten miles, and consequently the water has not, since
1853, backed into Sacramento. The Swamp Land Commissioners will shortly
let a contract for leveeing the Sacramento to Georgiana slough, which
will effectually protect Sacramento from back water, provided the
American is shut out by a secure levee. Under such a state of things
the R street levee would seem useless, except it is deemed advisable
to repair it as a kind of double security. It is conceded that the
Thirty-first street levee, in the event of the water breaking over
from the American river, would turn the water so as to let it pass
harmlessly by the city. Had the breaks in that levee been closed,
the water which broke over Monday last at the Burns slough would have
gone by without so much as notifying our citizens of its presence.
The late flood demonstrated that had the railroad embankment been out
of the way the water in the first would never have entered Sacramento
to cause any damage. But the levee on the American ought to be made
so broad, firm and high as to bid defiance to the waters of the American
if they were to rise from seven to ten feet beyond the highest water
mark known to the oldest inhabitants. It is our duty to make provisions
for resisting floods which may rise a number of feet above the line
made by the flood of the ninth of this month. Our theory is, that
the water may rise in this valley much higher than any American has
ever seen it, and that it is our duty as citizens of Sacramento to
build levees accordingly. The experience of Americans here extends
back but a few years, and it is impossible for them to have learned
from experience the real high water line in this valley. . . .
A LETTER FROM KIRK ON THE LEVEES
PLACERVILLE, December 24, 1861.
DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 19th inst. came duly to hand. In reply, I
would state that I consider the R and Thirty-first street levees of
great importance. They should be rebuilt. By keeping them up the water
coming from the Cosumnes river and the Sacramento would be stopped
should breaks occur in the present levee below R street.
I remember that in 1853 the back water in the city came from the
Cosumnes instead of the Sacramento river, as people generally supposed.
I would further advise that the levee on the American river be enlarged,
following the present line from Seventh street to Burns' slough, and
then continued to the high land. It would not be necessary to extend
the line any further than the slough, were it not for the railroad
embankment; that prevents the water from passing out towards Sutterville.
I think there should be an opening in the railroad embankment, if for
no other purpose than the surface drainage, but I doubt whether the
city controls enough of it to give sufficient space for the overflow
of the American; hence the necessity of prolonging the levee on the
river above Burns' slough.
So far as the embankment in the slough is concerned, nothing more is
required or can be better than good earth. I see no use for timber
only to make a coffer dam to keep the water out while the bank is
Yours truly, JOHN KIRK . . . .
CHRISTMAS.--ln spite of the aqueous perils which environ our city, old
Santa Claus, alias St. Nicholas, visited us on Christmas Eve with his
usual liberality toward all the gocd children, and by unanimous consent
the children were all considered good for the occasion. . . .
THE SACRAMENTO.--The Sacramento river continued to rise during Tuesday
night, and by eleven o'clock yesterday forenoon it attained the hight
of twenty-two feet three inches, making due allowance for the swell
of the water in striking the guage. At this point it stood, with
no perceptible change, until sundown. This is three inches higher
water than we have had before during the present season; six inches
higher than last season, and within three inches of the highest point
ever attained since the settlement of the country. In the flood of
'52 and '58, the water rose to twenty-two feet six inches. The river
is therefore higher now than it has been for the past eight years.
The opinion has frequently been expressed that the present city gauge
is not reliable, that it is set too low and does not accord with the
high water of early times, etc. A leaning sycamore tree on the bank
of the river was marked in '53 by George Rowland when the water was
at its highest point. When the water yesterday lacked three inches
of reaching twenty-two feet six inches on the gauge, it also lacked
three inches of reaching the notch on the sycamore. There can be but
little doubt that twenty-two feet six inches on the gauge is the high
water mark of the past. The present rise in the river results chiefly
from the waters of the Feather and Yubas. After a decline for a few
days it may again come up from the rains of the Northern part of the
DINNER FOR THE PRISONERS.--County Warden Harris made up his mind,
several days ago, that his family of about fifty prisoners, rain or
shine, flood or no flood, flush times or hard times, should on
yesterday enjoy a Christmas dinner. . . .
WATER IN THE CITY.--The water in the flooded portion of the city south
of L street continued to recede during Tuesday night and yesterday,
and had fallen about two feet by sundown last evening. It was the
opinion of many, however, that for an hour before sundown it had
commenced to rise. If such was the case, the result must have been
produced by back water, as the supply from the American is constantly
diminishing. On the north side of J street the water is higher by
about a foot than on the south side. The street has been cut at
Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets, and probably
at several other points, and lively streams are pouring through
these openings. The crevasse at Burns' slough still throws one
or two streams into the city through the Thirty-first street levee
north of J street and several south of that point. A slight fall
in the rivers will render the stoppage of these openings practicable.
The water finds vent and runs freely through the openings in the R
street levee towards Sutterville.
THE EIGHT STREET SEWER.--It is generally conceded by residents on the
north side of J street that the Eighth street sewer, recently cut from
near I to the alley north of K street, worked very successfully during
the last flood. There was no other outlet for the water from that
portion of the city west of Twelfth street, and it would have risen
considerably higher than it did had there been no drain dug through
Eighth street. Many of those who are benefitted by it are talking
of constructing a substantial brick culvert in the trench before
it is closed up. The experiments at drainage now being tried, ought
to prove of permanent benefit to our citizens, and wherever the sewers
work successfully they should be substantially constructed, so as to
avoid the necessity of reopening them at another time. A. C. Sweetzer,
who has had the superintendence of the one above referred to, believes
it to be practicable to make a thorough job of it by funds raised by
THE WEATHER.--We were favored yesterday with a clear sky, a bright sun,
and a cool northwestern breeze. The agreeable change from the weather
of the past three weeks was experienced by all our citizens, whose
cheerful faces bespoke their gratification at the prospect of no more
rain or flood and a diminution of the mud in our streets. The sky
remained unclouded through tne evening, and all signs seem to indicate
that we shall have fine weather in which to work to provide against
AT WORK.--E. P. Figg, of the Committee of Safety, with a detachment
of workmen, was engaged yesterday afternoon at the levee below R
street, in strengthening the weak point against the encroachments
of the river. Gunny sacks were filled and used wherever necessity
seemed to require. This point, although continually yielding to the
action of the eddy, has withstood its power much more successfully
than seemed probable a few weeks ago.
NOT DESTROYED.--We are informed that the new embankment at Burns'
slough is not so badly injured as was at first supposed. The water
first entered the slough over the natural ground around the new
levee, and in that way formed a back-water protection which rendered
the current less destructive than it would otherwise have been.
It is thought that $300 will repair all damage done at that point.
EMBARCADERO.--The corner of Sixth and M streets--the Pavilion
sidewalk--has become recently a regular embarcadero, between which
and all ports in the flooded districts our city flotilla come and
go, according to the demands of the traveling public. Ranchmen from
several miles south of the city, who come up in boats, seem also
to have selected it as their landing place.
THIEVES.--Continual complaint is made by residents of the lower
portion of the city that their houses are frequently entered
and pillaged of everything which can be carried off. Chief
Watson should establish a marine police, whose exclusive duty
it should be to cruise for pirates, and overhaul and bring into
port every suspicious craft whose papers are not entirely satisfactory.
NOTHING FURTHER.--No information has been received by the Coroner or
anyone in the city regarding the man who was drowned from the steamer
Nevada on Tuesday last.
THE AMERICAN.--The American river commenced falling on Tuesday afternoon,
and has been declining ever since. The entire fall up to last evening at
and above the Tannery, was about three feet. As the tributaries above
have done their worst, we have, of course, but little to fear in the
way of overflow until the next storm. W. Turton and about a dozen men
were on duty yesterday, watching and strengthening the old levee and
adding to the hight of the new one.
RESCUED.--At an early hour yesterday morning William Webster discovered
a dun colored horse in deep water, entrapped in a fence corner near
the crevesse above Sutterville. The animal had evidently been in that
position over night, and was nearly perished. He was released and handed
over to the care of a neighboring ranchman.
CATHOLIC CHURCH.--The congregation of St. Rose Church occupied the
Assembly chamber yeaterday morning for religious services, in
consequence of the weak condition of the floor of the Church.
TRUNK FOUND.--A trunk well filled with clothing was found at
Sutterville on the occasion of the late flood by W. Sherbourn for
which an owner is wanted. A letter found in it is addressed to
M. C. Rieff, Sacramento City. . . .
NO FERRY YET.--There had not up to last evening been any ferry boat
set in motion at the Fort. Passengers and mail matter from Folsom
were brought into the city by small boats. . . .
SEMBLINS says that notwithstanding the common belief, the water didn't
seem to him as high on the 9th as in '53, when he paid 75 cents an
inch for it.--Sierra Democrat. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3355, 28 December 1861, p. 1
. . .
SACRAMENTO AND THE FLOOD.--The Christian Advocate has the
following reflections on our flood:
The city wears an extremely dreary appearance; while the dejected
countenances we meet at every turn inform us too surely of anxious
and apprehensive feelings. There is, however, in the people of
Sacramento a vast amuont of recuperative energy too great and active
to be withered by fire or strangled by flood; while too much honor,
reputation and property are at stake to think of moving the site of the
town, however desirable such a course might be. The city occupies a
position where money may be made, and there some men will build, live
and transact business, if the town be a Venice, with canals for streets
and boats for drays.
As to the Capitol question there seems to be quite a unanimous opinion
that this is the best site, and that here it should remain. With a week
or two of fair weather and the presence of the Legislature the city would
assume its wonted briskness and beauty; feelings of despondency would
give way to cheerful smiles and pleasant hopes; dread and despair would
move away as clouds after a storm before an exhilerating western breeze
and all be joyous as a May morning. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
The Sacramento last night, at sunset, reached a higher point than was
ever before experienced, viz: 22 feet 7 inches above low water mark,
one inch higher that at any former period. The river remained at about
that hight. The American also remained about stationary last night,
although at Folsom it had fallen during the day some six feet. It is
evident that the Sacramento, being so high, has locked up the American
at its mouth. The present cold nights will now, doubtless, cause these
rivers to recede. In the lower part of the city there was some increase
of water yesterday, owing to the high state of the Sacramento and American.
No Overland mail was received in this city yesterday. We learn that
communication to Folsom and Placerviile has been much obstructed by
the flood. Last night, as a boat party was coming towards the city,
near Poverty Ridge, the boat was upset in the current, and the letter
bag of Wells, Fargo & Co. lost. No lives were lost. . . .
THE FLOOD SOUTH.--The Stockton Republican of December 25th says :
The storm which has been raging for two or three days has seldom
been equaled in this vicinity. Yesterday the rain fell in torrents
much of the day, and the southeast gale prevailed until the middle
of the afternoon, when the wind shifted to the northwest, and in the
evening there was a show of clear sky. A tremendous quantity of rain
has fallen. There is no danger to the city, the few defenses which
protect it not being affected by the waters. The Calaveras has
overflowed its banks in several places. Yesterday morning the driver
of the Mokelumne Hill stage, after getting two miles beyond the Fifteen
Mile House, could see nothing but a large body of water in his road,
and accordingly put up his horses, and did not attempt to go further.
The water was up to the stringers of Frost & Leach's bridge when last
heard from. Mormon Slough will come down "booming" this morning.
The Independent adds :
The Sonora stages were alone in reaching us yesterday at the usual
hour. The Murphy's stage, which left this city in the morning, reached
the Fifteen Mile House, beyond which it was impossible to proceed
in consequence of the overflow of the country. The stages from
Mokelumne Hill due yesterday, had not arrived up to a late hour
last evening--probably detained by high water.
A dispatch from Stockton, dated December 26th, has the following:
It commenced raining very hard in this city about nine o'clock
this morning, and still continues. The water is very high. Near
town the country is overflowed for many milles, but no material
damage or loss of life. The water is pouring over the causeway
which crosses the slough on Hunter street. It will be cut away,
as it is backing water upon the gardens. The bulkhead on Mormon
slough is safe. No land is overflowed on the ordinary level of
The steamer Christina arrived yesterday from Turner's Ferry, on
the San Joaquin river, and reports that the water rose at that
point on Tuesday night some six feet, and was still on the increase.
In some places it had found its way over the banks, and was threatening
damage to the ranches. The current in the river was great, and the
large quantity of saw logs and drift wood which came floating down
the stream was an indication that the watter [sic] in the upper
river and its tributares had experienced a sudden rise. The current
yesterday carried down the river the floating bath house belonging
to Oliva. We are entirely cut off from stage communication.
OUR CHINESE RESIDENTS.--This portion of the resident population of
Sacramento have been highly favored during the late floods. Living
on I street, which has the highest grade of any in the city, they
have altogether escaped the affliction which has generally visited
our citizens, and it may indeed be said they have been as "happy
as clams at high water." They owe their protection from the overflow
to the excellence of that portion of the northern levee on which
they generally reside, and undoubtedly feel a proper degree of
gratitude in connection with this fact. Among this population are
many rich merchants, who possess the ability to contribute something
handsome to the fund which is being used for their protection as
well as for that of others. We have heard it suggested that these
people might fell [sic] slighted by reason of the Subscription
Committee not calling on them for a contribution. We trust that
the Committee will take this matter into consideration, and give
our Celestial brethren an opportunity to exhibit their generosity
in the premises.
THE LATE STORM.--We learn that the late storm was pretty general
in its visitation. Those portions of the State which escaped a
flood previously have now felt the influence of copious rains,
and their streams and rivers are swollen. The present rainy season
will be a marked one in the history of the State. . . .
FINANCIAL FOLLY OF SACRAMENTO.--It is not strange that the imbecility
manifested by our Board of Supervisors in their management of the
affairs of this city should attract attention abroad. Their general
legislation, and especially that in reference to the Rightmire contract,
is thus referred to in the Bulletin:
Sacramento is suffering more for the want of a good municipal government
than for the lack of such levees as will protect the city from overflow.
A tolerably efficient Board of Supervisors would never have permitted
the railroad company to dam up the only outlet for water when the American
river is high, and with this precaution there need have been no overflow
to this day. Yet while this very outlet was obstructed, the Supervisors
were stopping rat holes in the American river levee, showing that they
anticipated an inundation from that side, and never reflected where the
water would seek an outlet when it came into the city. This
short-sightedness can possibly be excused on the ground of stupidity
but how can we find any reason that would influence honest men, no
matter how stupid, to indorse such a transaction as the following
paragraph from the UNION discloses?
[Here follows a brief article from the UNION, specifying the manner in
which the Board allowed Rightmire a disproportionate amount of scrip for what he had no legal right to claim:]
The outrageous recklessness of the Sacramento Supervisors in this
transaction will further appear, when it is stated that, in the first
instance, the contract with Rightmire was illegal and void under plain
provisions of the City Charter. The Supervisors have no more power to
run Sacramento in debt than has D. O. Mills, or any other private firm.
The City Charter is copied from the San Francisco Consolidation Act,
which, as everybody knows, prohibits entering into any contract binding
the corporation, until the money is provided to pay for the expenses
of carrying out the contract. Any contract made without means already
provided to complete it, is expressly declared to be void by the
charter itself. Now the Sacramento Board of Supervisors audit a
"void" claim for $1,000, and issue $4,000 of "void" scrip to pay it.
This is running up a city debt with a looseness that has no parallel
in California. Indeed, it is running credit "into the ground"--to
that point where it runs out entirely, and ceases to retain tangibility.
Debts thus contracted are no debts at all, and the evidences of them
cease to be negotiable among men fit to do business precisely as forged
notes are dealt in by none but fools or knaves. Yet we are told that
there is floating about Sacramento some hundreds of thousands of dollars
of these "void" evidences of indebtedness, and that but for them, no one
there would ever have thought of repudiating the debts which the city
legally owes her creditors in good faith, who are without fault. These
startling facts should arouse the permanent citizens of Sacramento to
the necessity of putting forth effort to secure a permanently honest
city government; and while they are volunteering so freely from their
private resources towards building levees, it will do them good to
consider this main question.
There has been no good reason for Sacramento city to go in debt one
dollar since the adoption of the new charter in 1858, even were there
any legal authority for so doing. Abundant taxes have been paid to
defray the expenses of an efficient local government. Had D. O. Mills,
James Anthony, or any one among several hundred men of means and
business capacity in Sacramento been elected "the whole city
government," during the past three years, and paid $50,000 per annum
for current expenses, the city would not have gone in debt under such
an administration, would not have talked of repudiation, and the public
peace and quiet would have been admirable in comparison with the state
of things that has prevailed under the "bummer rule," under which the
Police Court alone costs the city some $20,000 per annum [?] more than
the fines imposed.
THE HENNESS PASS.--Marysville Appeal says:
The. Henness Pass route is obstructed near the summit by fallen
trees and an excessive amount of mud. Beyond Maple's the road is
good. Since the Truckee bridge was swept away, that stream is crossed
by a ferry. There is but little snow on the route.
KIDNAPPING A CHILD.--The Stockton Independent of December 25th
gives some particulars of a kidnapping case in that city:
A painful case of kidnapping occurred yesterday, in this city, the
circumstances attending which are substantially as follows: One Maxon,
his wife and child, emigrated to this State a few months since, and on
the journey hither Maxon acted towards his wife in a manner arbitrary
and unbecoming, until she declined to live with him, and they separated,
Mrs. Maxon assuming the custody of the child. On reaching Sacramento
the mother applied to the Courts for the sole control over and possession
of the child, and it being shown that the husband was an unfit person
to have custody, the Court, through Judge Robinson, placed it in the
charge of the mother, who recently came to this city and took up her
residence on Flora street. Yesterday, the father visited his daughter,
as he had on several occasions done before, and no one being present
save the mother and her sister, he seized the child and ran from the
house, followed by the mother, begging him to give back her child, and
weeping bitterly on finding she was powerless to prevent him from
carrying it away. He was joined by another man shortly after leaving
the house, and the two proceeded in a westerly direction, through
Park street to the bank of the slough, where a small boat was in
waiting to receive them, into which they hastily entered and made off
down the river. Their destination is unknown, but is supposed to be
Sacramento. A warrent for the arrest of Maxon was placed in the hands
of the Marshal, and that officer left the city yesterday in search of
the kidnapper. We are informed that on a previous occasion, Maxon made
an ineffectual attempt to accomplish the object in which he yesterday
succeeded. If caught, as we trust he may be, he will probably have the
opportunity of serving a term in San Quentin.
THE LATE STORM NORTH.--The Marysville Appeal of December 27th,
referring to the late storm, says:
Rain commenced to fall heavily yesterday forenoon and continued, without
a moment's intermission, during the entire day and up to a late hour
last night. We have probably had no rainfall this season in which so
much water fell in the same length of time as in the twelve hours ending
at twelve o'clock last night. No perceptible change was observable, of
course, in the condition of the streams at that time last night, but if
the rains should continue for a day or two longer at the same rate of
falling, we should have another touch of deluge which may be a freshet
No. 3, which may a kind Providence forbid.
The Express says;
The Yuba commenced falling on Wedneaday night, and during the time
fell about one foot. Notwithstanding the heavy rain of yesterday,
undoubtedly the heaviest of the season, the Yuba continued to fall
gradually, and late at night was still falling.
A dispatch dated at Red Bluff, December 26th, has the annexed
particulars of the storm at that point:
Yesterday was a very pleasant day. This morning about three o'clock
it commenced raining and has rained almost incessantly all day, and
since dark the rain has poured down in torrents. The creeks are all
up very high and the Sacramento river rising fast. No stage from below
this place since yesterday morning and none from above since Tuesday
night. It has never been known to have rained harder than now. The
creeks and sloughs between here and Shasta are all full, and Cottonwood
river is higher than it has been before this year. A team in attempting
to cross the Cottonwood yesterday was drowned; the driver escaped. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Suicides--Conviction--Mike Branigan [?] Hunted--Vessels at Panama
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 27th.
. . .
The rains have done much damage in this city. The wall of a brick
building corner of Dupont and Post streets fell yesterday. . . .
[For the Union.]
THE RIGHTMIRE SCRIP.
MESSRS. EDITORS: As the action of the Supervisors in allowing Rightmire
$4,009 for the purpose of making the amount allowed equal $1,002.25 in
cash at the current market rates of audited claims on the Contingent Fund,
having caused considerable discussion both in the papers and on the street,
I, without expressing any opinion on the equity of the case, call your
attention to the fact that the law is fixed, and that any discussion
about it is a perfect waste of breath or pens and ink. The question has
been adjudicated by our highest tribunal, and the exact case occurs in
Foster vs. Coleman (10 Cal., 278), on an appeal from Los Angeles county.
The facts shown by the record in that case are that in 1856 the Assessor
presented a claim for 165 days' service, at the established rate of
$10 per day, making a total of $1,650, which claim the Supervisors
allowed as follows: "Ordered, that the sum of $4,125 be paid out of
the fund for current expenses, to equal $1,650 in cash, at the rate
of 40 cents per dollar," and that in conformity with said order the
Auditor draw his warrant in favor of Coleman (the Assessor) for said
sum of $4,125, which warrant was presented to the Treasurer and indorsed
and registered in the same manner as other warrants not paid for want
of funds. The case came up on an application made by Foster, a taxpayer,
for an injunction prohibiting the Treasurer from paying the warrant, and
for an order that Coleman deliver it up to be canceled, both of which
orders the lower Court made and Coleman appealed. The opinion of the
Supreme Court was delivered by Justice Field, Baldwin and Terry
concurring, and the Court says:
"The only question for determination respects the validity of the
order of the Board of Supervisors. It appears that the market or
cash value of county warrants, was only forty per cent, of the
nominal amount and that the object of the action of the Board
was to give Coleman that which was, at the time, an equivalent
for cash. The object did not justify the action. The effect of the
order was to create a debt or liability on the part of the county,
and this the Supervisors were not empowered to do for any purpose
except as provided by law. Their action was entirely without
authority, and altogether indefensible. Judgment affirmed.
The demand of plaintiff for his services can be again presented
to the Board, and upon its allowance, a warrant for its true amount
You will see that this is conclusive, and that however much Mr. Rightmire
may suffer from the fact, the claim as at present allowed is totally
worthless--not good even for the original $1,000 unless it is withdrawn
and presented again.
THE RIGHTMIRE CLAIM.--This claim, as provided for by the Board of
Supervisors, is effectually disposed of, as appears by a communication
from a legal source in another place. The claim for $4,009 is clearly
illegal, as appears by the decision of the Supreme Court in 10 Cal., 278.
[lodge symbol] I.O.O.F.--At a Special Meeting of the General Relief
Committee, held at Odd Fellows' Hall, Sacramento, on Sunday, 22d instant,
the following resolutions were adopted:
Whereas the timely aid extended by our sister Lodges of San Francisco
and Stockton having enabled us to enlarge our sphere of action, thereby
relieving many cases of distress and suffering throughout the city;
therefore be it
Resolved, That the thanks of the Committee and the Order in general
are hereby tendered to those Lodges who so kindly rendered assistance
in our hour of gloom and adversity.
Resolved, That the prompt and ready action in forwarding relief cannot
be too highly estimated; and, we trust, if ever occasion should arise,
that we shall be found totally prompt and ready to repay the debt thus
contracted on behalf of suffering humanity.
Resolved. That the foregoing resolutions be published in the San
Francisco, Stockton, and Sacramento papers and that a copy duly attested
be forwurded to the different Lodges. SAMUEL YOUNG, Secretary.
N B--Morning Call, San Francisco, and Stockton Independent will please
. . .
POLICE COURT--. . . Thomas Smith said he did not know whether he was
guilty of stealing $20 in coin, a belt and & pair of boots from
Wm. Barnett or not, as he "was very drunk at the time, yer honor."
His Honor informed him that he ought to be the best judge--which was
not certainly placing a very high estimate on his own judicial ability
and fitness. Barnett, the complainant, testified that he was a little
tight the second day after the flood, and laid down and went to sleep.
When he laid down his belt was around him, his money was in his pocket,
and his boots, that he paid $7 for in Carson City, Nevada Territory,
were on his feet. When he got up he was denuded of his belt, plundered
of his money, and stripped of his boots. He next met the belt and
the boots around the body and on the feet of Tom Smith, whom be did
not recollect of having ever before set eyes on: the money he had not
yet discovered. Smith was adjudged guilty, and is to be sentenced to-day.
Barney Riley's trial for stealing a rowboat worth $30, the property of
J. S. Ellison, was put off till Tuesday next to await the arrival of
the Matilda Heron with a load of coal and an important witness for
defense. . . .
THE TANNERY.--The rumor was kept afloat at various times and various
ways yesterday that the levees--old and new--at Rabel's tannery had
yielded to the waters of the American river--that the workmen had been
compelled to abandon them, and that a torrent of water was coming
rapidly into the city, etc., etc. Such stories were, of course,
unfounded. The levees were closely watched during Thursday night.
The American began to rise rapidly at three o'clock, A. M..,
yesterday morning. W. Turpin with about a dozen men worked steadily
during the whole of yesterday. The water continued to rise until
about three o'clock, P. M., and rose about four feet. It remained
stationary from that hour until sundown. The remnant of the old levee
was strengthened by gunny sacks to the best advantage. The current
of the river was, as usual at that point, very strong, and told
with effect upon the remaining portion of the embankment. Portions
of earth kept caving and falling continually, thus increasing
the chances of the water breaking over and coming in contact with
the new levee. The assaults of the current were, however, resisted
until night, but it was doubtful whether it could be kept at bay
until morning. If the old levee should wash away, the result of
the direct action of the water at its highest stage on the new levee
is somewhat doubtful. It was designed, however, by those who had the
work in charge, if it should become necessary, to let the water
gradually into the space between the two levees, and thus form
a basin of still water to protect the new work. If the water
should fall in the night, as seemed highly probable, there
would be no necessity for such a course. At eight o'clock last
evening the American at Folsom had fallen six feet, and was falling
at the rate of one foot per hour, as we are informed by telegraph.
BOATS UPSET.--At about eight o'clock last evening a boat containing
two boatmen and six passengers, was upset near Poverty Ridge. Among
the party were Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express messenger, the Overland
Stage agent, and two telegraph operators. All the passengers had
just arrived by the cars from Folsom, and were on their way to the city.
The letter bag of Wells, Fargo & Co. was lost, and has not since been
recovered. The unfortunate navigaors were picked up by a boatman known
by the name of "Red," and were safely landed at the Pavilion. Their
luck was very like that of a party of pressmen who went out on a boating
excursion on Christmas evening. There were seven in the company, and
their boat was large enough to hold but three. The remaining four
concluded to borrow a boat, which they did without consulting the
owner, and put out upon the waters as cheerfully as though they had
his consent for the use of it. They unfortunately failed to inspect
it as to sea-worthiness. After the two boats became separated, and
when in twelve feet of water--by measurement the next day--the bottom
of the boat very suddenly gave out, and the water as suddenly came
in. The four excursionists in a moment found themselves with very
little idea of their latitude or longitnde, or the soundings beneath
them. They were all picked up within ten minutes, and are extremely
anxious that the owner of the boat, should he ever recover it, shall
make the bottom more secure before they have occasion to borrow it
THE HIGHEST WATER ON RECORD.--The water in the Sacramento river at sunset
last evening stood twenty-two feet seven inches above low water mark,
having risen ten inches during the past twenty-four hours. This is one
inch higher than the highest mark of '58, or than the river has ever
attained since the settlement of the State by Americans. We desire,
in this connection, to call attention to the fact that the levee on
the American east of the Tivoli is washed away in many places and the
waters are flowing uninterruptedly through, and the crevasse two miles
below the city is still open and a torrent is pouring through, and yet
the business portion of the city is entirely free from inundation. Even
with the present grade of J, K and L streets, while the passage of the
waters is uninterrupted, we are not flooded by the highest water ever
attained by the Sacramento. Will not a slight elevation of the grade
of our streets place us out of the reach of danger, provided the water
is not dammed up to our detriment?
WASHING AWAY.--The Sacramento levee, between P and R streets, commenced
to wash away in many places yesterday. The earth was entirely removed
by the action of the water from the river side of many of the large
cottonweed trees growing at that point. Unless something is done to
support them, they will probably be blown over and destroyed. There is,
of course, no immediate danger to be apprehended from the levee at this
point, but it will require the attention of the Committee of Safety after
the water falls.
SUNDAY NOTICE.--The Rev. Mr. Banton will preach to-morrow morning at a
quarter before eleven o'clock, and likewise in the evening, at seven
o'clock, unless there should be a violent storm. . . .
INJURY TO THE RAILROAD.--The freshet of yesterday morning made another
break in the railroad at Brighton of about two hundred feet. The cars
were prevented on that account from coming so near the city as usual.
A portion of mail matter was detained beyond that point last evening.
Preparations were made yesterday for repairing the road as speedily as
possible. . . . .
FUNERAL TO-DAY.--The funeral of O. V. Chapman will take place at
half-past twelve o'clock today from the rooms of J. W. Reeves, on
Fourth street. Those who attend it will be conveyed from the Pavilion
to the City Cemetery by boats, as there is no other way of reaching
WATER IN THE CITY.--The water in the lower portion of the city commenced
to rise early yesterday morning, and by sunset had risen two feet. As
the American ceased to rise at about three o clock P. M., yesterday,
the city will probably be considerably relieved by this morning. . . .
THE POUND-MASTER.--After the first of the year Pound-master Mayo designs
to remove his impounding establishment to dry land--the present locality
being under water. He will then take charge of all stray cattle on his
NO SERVICE.--There will be no services in the Baptist Church next Sabbath,
Dec. 29th, as another week will be required to finish the repairs. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3356, 30 December 1861, p. 1
THE LATE FLOOD.
We find that the late rains in certain localities in the interior have been
more disastrous in their effects than the former floods. We compile the
following accounts from our exchanges.
SAN JOAQUIN.--Stockton Republican, of Dec. 27th, says:
Yesterday was ushered in by a howling southeast gale, which continues
as we are writing this. At ten o'clock yesterday morning the rain
commenced falling, and during the day and evening an enormous amount
fell. The storm yesterday was the severest which has been experienced
in this city for a long time. The gale made bad work with everything
that could be damaged by.the wind. Awnings have been destroyed, and
signs, fences and trees blown down by the score. The worst piece of
mischief which we have noticed is the unroofing of the southwest portion
of the City Hall, about one-fourth of the tinning having disappeared.
Alderman Sargent engaged a party of sailors, who procured canvas, with
which, with the aid of boards, the roof, a very sham-built affair, was
covered temporarily, though some damage will be caused by the water.
The water is very high in the sloughs in the city, and one or two foot
bridges have been carried away. No land which is of the ordinary level
of the city has been overflowed. Those whose premises inclose portions
of sloughs have a plentiful supply of water upon their lots, though
their houses are all set upon the level of the city, and are safe.
The south half of Mayor Holden's premises were overflowed on Wednesday
night, and he had a time of it in getting out his Cheshires and
Suffolks to a place of safety. Hart's premises, which are similarly
situated, are also overflowed, but his large new brick house is safe,
or was at last accounts. He had to swim his horses from the stable to
the high land. The grounds of the Seminary, partially in a slough, are
overflowed, and the southern fence is down. Hart attributes the presence
of most of the water upon his place to the existence of the causeway
on Hunter street, which operates as a dam across the Oak street slough
and backs the water upon him. The causeway has a culvert, but not
one-fiftieth part large enough to let through the water. A passage
three feet wide and deep was cut through the causeway yesterday, but
it is doubtful if this will lower the water above sufficiently. The
earth of the causeway is so clayey and tough that the great body of
water will not sluice the cut any larger. The water commenced pouring
over the causeway on Wednesday evening, and continued until the cut
was made. The place was a regular water fall, some three feet high
and a hundred feet in length. The water first reached the city early
Wednesday afternoon, though warning had been given that it was coming,
and ever since the water has been rushing down from the country with
The Stockton Independent of the same date remarks :
The stage from Sonora, due on Wednesday, arrived in this city at
one o'clock yesterday, having been detained over night at the
Twenty-six Mile House. McCombs, the driver, informs us that the
principal place of detention is at Simmons' slough, which is
running bank full and still rising. A small bridge above Doak's
has been washed away. The slough at the Five Mile House, is in
very bad condition for the passage of teams. The stage which left
this city for Sonora, was swamped in this slough, by reason of
which it failed to connect with the down stage, otherwise the stage
due on Wednesday would have reached here in the usual time. The
water in the Stanislaus, at Knight's Ferry, is reported to have
risen on Tuesday night eight feet.
The Mariposa stage arrived at half-past seven o'clock last evening,
making the trip through from the Tuolumne since morning. We learn
that the water at Loving's Bridge rose on Tuesday night to within
four inches of the planking. At Dry creek the water was too deep
to render stage crossing in any degree safe. The passengers were
ferried across in boats, while the horses swam the stream, making
a change of stages on the opposite bank.
We learn that the Mokelumne on Tuesday night was six inches higher
than in the Winter of 1852. The bridge at Woodbridge was saved from
damage by some considerable exertion, the water having risen nearly
to the stringers.
The following dispatch to the Bulletin, dated at Stockton
December 28th, 2:30 p. m., gives a later and still more discouraging
account of the flood in Stockton:
The alarm bells were rung most of last night. The water was
unprecedentedly high. The city generally has been overflowed. Several
blocks on low ground have been flooded in the business portion, owing
to imperfect drainage. A few stores have been flooded on the south
side of Main street. A great many dwelling houses are flooded, and
families have had to seek other quarters. The water is now fast
running out of the city.
The main body of the water came from the Calaveras river. The country
for miles around presents one vast sheet of water.
SONOMA,--Of the rains in Sonoma county and in the vicinity of Petaluma,
the Journal of Dec. 27th speaks as fellows:
An acquaintance of ours who has just returned from a trip through
the upper and western portion of this county, represents the damage
done to property, roads, etc., and the loss of stock, by the late
flood, as immense. In many sections the roads are completely washed
away; the course of the creeks and streams materially changed; farms
overflowed, and in some instances covered many inches with wash dirt;
fences destroyed, etc. According to his description, large numbers of
cattle, hogs, etc., were drowned. On the Santa Rosa creek he noticed
several head of young cattle hanging in the branches of the trees,
high and dry from any ordinary flood. Near Cloverdale we are told the
river cut a new channel, leaving the mill of Caldwell & Co. in a bad fix.
EL DORADO.--The Placerville Democrat, of December 28th, says
of the late storm in its locality:
Another severe storm has visited us, doing a great deal of damage
to bridges, flumes, ditches, roads, etc. On Thursday night the rain
fell heavily and the wind blew furiously all night. On that night
Hangtown creek was higher than ever before. The extent of the damage
we have been unable to ascertain. An immense amount of rain has
fallen this month, and it seems reluctant to "dry up."
A correspondent writing from Georgetown, December 26th, says:
A severe storm is raging here and all through the mountains up this
way. Trees are blown down and other damage done. The heaviest rain
of the season fell this afternoon, and is falling in great quantity
at this time (nine o'clock P. M.)
NAPA.--The Napa Reporter, of December 28th, has the following:
During the last week we have had an almost incessant pour from the
clouds, and with a slight increase of rain we may expect another
flood of Napa City. Cornwell's Addition has become "boatable ;" but
the damage is slight, and limited to that part of town. From the
upper part of the valley we learn that the late flood left but
little chance for harm.
BUTTE.--The Record of Dec. 28th says:
Feather river was swollen by the recent rains to within six feet of
the former freshet. All crossing was suspended at the ferries for two
days; but no great damage was done, that we have been able to learn.
The creeks and sloughs have been higher than before, but not enough so
to do further damage. All communication with Marysville was stopped for
two days; and staging to Tehama was not resumed until Thursday morning.
The bridge over Dry creek, on the road to Lynchburg, was swept away, and
the Celestials, who were working on the banks of all the streams in the
vicinity, left on double quick for high ground. The great mass of Chinese
have never seen a flood in Calfornia, and they do not comprehend it very
well. They are afraid of water in large quantities, and no "shabbe big
water come in night and washee away cabin, Chinaman and everything
Chinaman catchee in Californy." The Indians appear to be highly pleased
at the discomfiture of the Celestials; there appears to be no affinity
NEVADA.--The Democrat of Dec. 27th adds:
After a moderately pleasant day on Christmas, giving hopes that the
storm was over, the rain set in again early, Thursday morning and
continued to fall steadily until about nine o'clock this morning.
During the most of the time it was raining very hard, and a high wind
prevailed last night. The quantity of water that fell at this place
in the course of twenty-four hours, ending yesterday morning, was
four inches, and nearly twelve inches has fallen since twelve o'clock
Saturday night This morning the water in Deer creek was within a foot
of the highest mark attained on the 9th instant, and as large quantities
of tailings have been washed out of the bed, the volume of water in
the creek must have been greater this morning than at any previous
time this Winter (the South Yuba was also very high this morning, but
we have heard of no damage of consequence. The sun came out about two
o'clock this afternoon, and there is now a prospect of pleasant weather.
TRINITY AND HUMBOLDT.--We find the following in the Journal of
December 31st [?]:
From Denny, Humboldt, mailman who arrived last Sunday for the first
time in over three weeks, we learn that not only the new bridge over
the Trinity at Hoop Valley is gone, but the wire suspension bridge
built across the Klamath river three miles below Weitchpeck, last
summer, by Martin, was carried away. This bridge was put up by
A. S. Halladie & Co. of San Francisco; was 500 feet long and 98 feet
above the river. It cost some $8,000.
At the mouth of Trinity river, John Fennessy's house, stock of goods
and everything else was swept away; and at Big Bar, on the Klamath,
the trading post, and other property of Wm. Shelton shared the same
fate. No tidings have reached us from Orleans Bar, but the general
impression is that the town must have been destroyed.
To give our readers some idea of the immense body of water accumulated
below the confluence of Trinity and Klamath rivers, we state on the
authority of Capt. Cecil of Klamath, that at the wire suspension
bridge above mentioned the water rose one hundred and forty feet!
Everything is swept clean on Trinity river, and the damage is immense.
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The water fell yesterday in the portion of the city which was submerged
about eight or ten inches. The American has fallen several feet since
our last issue and the Sacramento about four inches. The latter river,
it is well known, rises and falls slowly. The business portion of our
city is and has been since the last flood free from water.
We are without telegraphic intelligence from any quarter this morning,
the wires being generally out of order.
According to an account elsewhere, our neighboring city of Stockton
suffered severely by the late storm.
THE WORK TO BE DONE.--We do not suppose it necessary to remind the
Citizens' Committee of the importance of even one hour in the work
before them. Not a minute should be permitted to pass, after the
water at Burns' slough falls so much as to render it possible for
the water to be stopped, before the work is begun. It was delayed
too long before. The flood came on Monday, the 9th, and work was
not begun at the slough until the next week Wednesday, ten days
after the high water. A beginning three days earlier would have
insured the levee at the slough against the last two floods. It
should be made secure before the next high water, and in order to
do that, a large force will be necessary. At Rabel's tannery the
new levee would be strengthened by a lining of brush, weighted down
with a few bags of sand, or with dirt thrown on to it with shovels.
The Committee is also aware that there are other points in the levee
between Burns' slough and Thirty-first street which need work the
moment the water will admit. We would also suggest to the Committee
that it may do a great deal towards improving the appearance of the
city, as well as add materially to the comfort and convenience of
citizens and strangers, by the expenditure of a few hundred dollars
on streets and sidewalks where owners have too little public spirit
to improve the latter. The ditches cut acros the several streets
should be made permanent drains, lined with brick or .redwood plank,
and thoroughly bridged. The streets of J and K ought to be repaired
from Front to the Fort, and ferries established or bridges built,
so as to insure people a passage to and from the city. The board
of Supervisors licensed two ferries at the slough, but neither of
them were in operation Friday and Saturday when they were most needed.
The flat at one was reported sunk; the rope of the other was under
water, and all attempts to make trips across the slough given up.
Had proper arrangements been made, both of these ferries could have
been operated during the high water.
The Board of Supervisors have neither money nor credit to do anything
for the improvement of the city. For what has been done so far, the
people are indebted to the liberality and enterprise of private
individuals. If the Committee will now take up the work where
individuals have left it, the members can, for a very little
money and a few days sunshine, put the business portion of the city
in a neater and better condition than it was in for about half
of last Winter. In view of coming events, we are confident that
such a movement on the part of the Committee; will meet the
approbation of a large majority of the people of Sacramento. . . .
From the rapidity of the current at the Fort on Friday and Saturday,
across the east end of the city, and through the break in the R street
levee, a man could hardly arrive at any other conclusion, than that
there must be from eight to ten feet fall between the Fort and
Sutterville. The water at the Fort ran with such force as to render it
difficult to cross the stream in a boat. To swim it on a horse would
have been a desperate undertaking. . . .
THE LATE STORM IN SAN FRANCISCO.--The San Francisco Herald says :
The storm of Thursday night was a very severe one for this locality,
several of the oldest inhabitants averring that they "had never seen the
like before." The wind blew very hard during the entire evening,
increasing to a gale towards midnight. We learn that a house, the
property of a poor family, near the corner of Mason and Chesnut
streets, was blown down, and that five new cottages, nearly completed,
on Douglas Place, near Beale and Harrison streets, were demolished.
In various parts of the city damage was done to awnings, signs, etc.
Houses in airy localities, which withstood the gale, were rocked like
cradles by its violence. The houses in Douglas Place were undermined
by the water. A portion of Third street is stated to have been submerged. . . .
THE STATE CAPITAL.--The Solano Herald thus remarks upon the
proposition of a few parties to remove the State Capital:
Since the occurrence of the great calamity which has recently overwhelmed
the Capital City, carrying want and ruin to so many of her poorer citizens,
entailing heavy losses at present and immense expenses in the future upon
her capitalists; and trouble and inconvenience upon all, it has been
contended, by interested parties and parties inimical to the present
location of the State Capital, that the Legislature should at once
provide for its removal; and the claims of various localities to the
honor of being the seat of government have, it seems to us, been urged
with more zeal than wisdom, and with a heartless cupidity more consonant
with the maxims of savage life than with the teachings of civilization.
The principal reasons urged for its removal, so far as we have heard,
are that it is subject to overflow, and that Sacramento is so hopelessly
in debt as to be utterly unable to build a levee of sufficient dimensions
to prevent the recurrence of the late disaster, the possibility of whose
construction has been seriously doubted. The expense to which the State
must be subjected in order to protect its property in that city, is
urged as a reason for removing the Capital, and we suppose, abandoning
the State property there to the protection of a people whose inability
to protect themselves forms the stock in trade of these removal agitators.
We do not perceive the force of these arguments. When we reflect that it
would require a volume of water at least ten times as great as that which
recently overwhelmed the city, to produce a rise of one foot above the
point it then reached, the magnitude and consequent expense of the work
would not seem so very formidable but that even Sacramento, debt ridden
and almost bankrupt as she is. might undertake its accomplishment with
a fair prospect of success. But we would not leave the work entirely
to Sacramento. If there were fifteen thousand inhabitants of any other
part of the State suffering to the same extent as those in Sacramento,
we do not believe that an appropriation for their relief would be objected
to; and we can see no reason why the fifteen thousand inhabitants of
Sacramento should not receive as much consideration as a like number
in any portion of the State. Besides, the relief most needed by them
will, if granted, do much toward placing the property of the State
in a condition of security, and thus obviate all objections to the
present location of the Capital.
There is another objection to a removal which does not seem to have
been considered by those who are opposed to the expense of retaining
the Capital at Sacramento. The State, last Winter, made a contract with
the city of Sacramento, by which the State agreed to build a State House
in that city on certain well defined conditions. On the part of the city
those conditions have been complied with, and at great expense; and if
any one is so simple as to suppose that the State can escape the
performance of its part of the contrast at an expense less than double
the cost of a perfectly secure levee around Sacramento, he must be simple
indeed. And it would soon become apparent that the expense entailed by
removing the Capital from Sacramento would scarcely exceed that of
locating it anywhere else; for, with the act of perfidy before them
which some would have the State commit, no city could be found to
contribute a dollar for the purchase of grounds or the erection of
buildings, and the State would have to bear the entire expense. So
far then as economy is concerned, it would be exceedingly unwise to
change the present location of the Capital.
BOAT FOUND. - PICKED UP IN the Sacramento river about six weeks ago,
during the first rise, a flat-bottom skiff, painted lead color. The owner
can reclaim his boat by applying at the PACIFIC MARKET, paying charges,
. . .
POLICE COURT.--On Saturday Judge Gilmer sentenced Thomas Smith to serve
one hundred and eighty days in the chain-gang, for stealing William
Barnett's boots off his feet and $20 in money out of his
pockets. . . . Richard Fox and M. Callahan were convicted by a jury
of four of assault and battery on W. Reed, but a motion for a new trial
is expected to be made this morning. W. Reed is also charged with assault
and battery on Fox and Callahan, and his trial wes postponed until
to-day. The difficulty between these parties grew out of a dispute
about a boat.
FUNERAL OF O. V. CHAPMAN.--The funeral of O. V. Chapman took place
yesterday afternoon. A large number of the members of the Masonic
fraternity resembled at their Hall, and proceeded to Sixth and M
streets, at which point the remains of the deceased were placed in
a boat for transportation to the City Cemetery. About fifty-five
members of the above named organization followed the remains to the
Cemetery--the whole forming a procession of nine boats, presenting an
unusual and extraordinary spectacle. The train passed down Sixth
street to the railroad, through the opening in the embankment at
that point, and thence in a direct line to the Cemetery. The funeral
service was pronounced by the Rev. W. H. Hill.
LIBRARY REPORT.--From the monthly report of the Librarian of the
Sacramento Library Association, we find the following information:
. . . It will be observed that the number of books drawn has fallen
somewhat below the average. This should not, however, excite surprise,
when the confusion and disarrangement consequent upon the overflow is
taken into consideration.
EACH IN TURN.--Our neighbors at Washington and those of Slater's Addition,
who escaped inundation entirely when the main portion of the city suffered
the most on the 9th of the month, have met with their share of misfortune
in that respect within the past few days. The high water of the Sacramento
is finding its level among them to their great inconvenience and loss. . . .
THE RIVER.--The Sacramento river at sunset last evening had fallen
some four inches from its highest mark, and stood at 22 feet 3 inches
above low water mark. "Slow and sure," is an old saying. If the fall
of the Sacramento is as "sure" as it is "slow," we have a dead thing
of it in the course of time. The American river has fallen so far as
to be docile and harmless. . . .
ROOF BLOWN OFF.--During the gale by which our city was visited on
Thursday night, a portion of the roof of the grand stand at Agricultural
Park was blown off. Nearly one-fourth of the entire roof was carried
away, giving the edifice as it stands a very dilapidated appearance. . . .
ARRESTS.--. . . Richard King and John Maboney were also arrested by
Taylor and Cody for petty larceny in stealing a boat, the property
of M. Vance.
FUNERAL FROM THE HOSPITAL.--The funeral of Napoleon Lanouette, who died
at the Hospital several days ago, took place yesterday afternoon. The
remains of the deceased were conveyed to the City Cemetery in a boat.
RUNNING AGAIN.--The ferryboat at the slough at Sutter's Fort commenced
running on Saturday afternoon. Footmen, horsemen and teams pass in and
out K street. Several openings across J street require to be bridged. . . .
SERIOUS ACCIDENT.--The annexed particulars of a sad accident are given
by the Knight's Landing News of Dec. 28th:
On Thursday night last, during the storm, W. G. Seely, the proprietor
of the Union Hotel, proceeded with a lantern to the top of the hotel
building to clean the spouts of obstructions, which prevented the water
from running off from the roof. The rain and wind put the lantern out,
and in attempting to descend he missed the ladder. He held on for some
time by the fire wall and called for help, but before assistance could
be rendered he lost his hold and fell to the platform below--a distance
of thirty-six feet. His leg and ankle are supposed to be broken, but
he appears to have received no internal injuries.
A SAN FRANCISCO LANDLORD.--The following card is published in San
To all those fleeing from the floods of Sacramento and Stockton, the
proprietor of the Niantic Hotel would respectfully state, that his
house will be open and free for them for one week. H. H. PARKELL, Proprietor.
SAN FRANCISCO, December 28th
P. S.--We are told that "giving to the poor is lending to the Lord."
This has been verified in my case. In 1850, when I had just arrived
in the country, I contributed my last $50, through the (then) editor
of the Alta, to the sufferers on the Plains, and never have
had occasion to regret it. H. H. P. . . . .
THE RAIN.--lt commenced raining with great severity at nine o'clock today,
in this city, and the storm continues unabated. At San Rafael the rain
commenced at half past eight A. M., and at Petaluma at nine A. M., with
great force. The tide to-day is unusually strong, and there is every
indication that the rain is general.--San Francisco Alta, Dec. 26th. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3357, 31 December 1861, p. 2
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The waters of the Sacramento at sunset last evening were about the
same hight as they were twenty-four hours previous. The rains yesterday
and on Sunday night had raised the American somewhat, and Sutter
slough last evening was about an inch higher than on the day before.
No fear was entertained that the late rains in the interior would cause
any dangerous flood at this time. . . .
The telegraphic wires were down last night in every news direction,
and we were left without communication with the outward world.
THE LATE FLOOD IN AMADOR.--The late rains did considerable injury in
Amador county. The Jackson Ledger of Dec. 28th says:
A storm of equal severity with the one which visited us during the
last week is never remembered to have occurred in this section, by
white people. Without intermission, the avalanche of water poured
from the heavens for about thirty-six hours, swelling every little
rivulet to a torrent, which bore along in its resistless course
houses, fences, bridges--and overflowed ranches and gardens. Many
of our citizens have suffered severely. The waters of the Middle
Fork of Jackson creek broke over its banks above Palmer's livery
stable, and ran in a perfect torrent down Water to the junction
of Broadway street to a depth of three or four feet.
The Young America saloon was for a time in great danger of being
carried away, in consequence of the foot bridge crossing Jackson
creek, near the residence of White, being swept away and lodged
against it. Everything of a movable nature was carried out of the
building. The damage will amount to $300 or $400.
The North Fork overflowed the upper end of Main street, causing a
panic and stampede among the celestials who inhabit that part of
town--the waters visiting their dwellings and sweeping over floors
to which water had heretofore been a stranger.
The Mokelumne river was yesterday at an unprecedented hight--nearly
reaching the stable that stands at the south end of the bridge.
A portion of the dugway on the Mokelumne Hill road was washed away
near Butte City, as also the bridge at the quartz mill where the old
road used to cross the gulch.
THE LATE RAIN IN PLACER.--On Saturday night, December 21st, the late
storm commenced in Auburn, and continued until the following Tuesday.
The temporary trail bridge at Mineral Bar was carried away. Thursday
afternoon the storm commenced again, the rain falling heavily. The
Herald of December 28th says:
The storm was the most violent of any experienced this Winter. Auburn
ravine reached a higher mark than during the first flood, and all the
tributary ravines were very high. The turnpike was again flooded, but
not seriously injured. The American river rose very fast, but did not
come within five feet of its previous high mark at Oregon Bar, below
the junction. From this we conclude that upon the head waters of the
American forks snow, and not rain fell. . . .
THE STORM AT GRASS VALLEY.--The late storm was quite severe at this
place. The National of December 24th says:
Another severe rain storm commenced about twelve o'clock on Sunday
morning, and has continued without intermission to the present time,
five o'clock p. m. on Tuesday. Up to sundown of Sunday 4.16 inches fell,
and 2 50 from that time till sundown on Monday. Since that time, up to
the hour of our going to press, today, five o'clock P. M., but .60 of
an inch have fallen. The storm however is still continuing, and there
is a prospect of more rain to-morrow than we have had to-day. Thus far
7.26 inches has fallen during the present against 14 01 which fell in
about the same time during the last storm.
THE LATE STORM IN DOWNIEVILLE.--The Sierra Democrat of December
28th thus speaks of the late rains in its vicinity:
The river is up again, and likely to be for some time. The foot bridge
at Jersey still holds. The other freshet took out so many obstructions
that the same volume would not now rise so high over the banks. If
these latter rains had fallen on as much snow as laid on the mountains
before the recent flood, the water would now be higher than then. All
this week the ruin has been falling, with but very few and short
intermissions. . . .
SUPPOSED SUICIDE.--A man, named O. G. Dunham, who has been in the
Sierra County Hospital, and had one side of his body paralyzed, is
supposed to have jumped into the river at Downieville and drowned.
He was a native of Vermont.
DROWNED IN PLUMAS.--Thomas Dawson, an old citizen of Quincy, Plumas
county, was drowned near that town recently while returning to his
home. The deceased left a young wife.
THE COSUMNES.--The water rose so high on the Cosumnes a few days since
as to surround the old adobe house at Grimshaw's ranch. This is said
to be quite unusual, even in high water times.
THIRTY-FIRST STREET LEVEE.--Judge H. O. Beatty, who has examined the
Thirty-first street levee, thinks it can be so far repaired as to fill
the breaks from L to E street for about five hundred dollars. This
would shut the water out of the city north of L street, and leave that
portion of the city comparatively dry. It would be well for the
Committee to look at this matter, and have it done right away, if
the river is too high to begin work at Burns' slough. It would be
gaining quite an important point to so repair that levee as to exclude
the water running out of the river at the slough from entering the
city north of L street. But as early as possible work should be
commenced at the slough, and continued day and night until the levee
at that point is placed in a condition to resist higher water than
that which came over it on the 9th instant.
SIDEWALKS AND STREETS.--We reiterate the suggestion that the Citizens'
Committee ought this week to give some attention and money to putting
the streets and sidewalks to and from Capitol in a good condition
for walking upon. We hardly suppose that any property owner will
object to putting down a sidewalk opposite his lot or lots before
the Legislature convenes. First impressions go a long way, and
our property owners ought to consider that they are vitally
interested in having the city present as favorable and inviting
an appearance as possible under the surrounding circumstances.
THE LATE STORM IN CALAVERAS.--The Chronicle of December 28th says :
The storm of this week has been far more severe, in this county, than the
one which resulted so disastrously for Sacramento. The rain commenced
falling on Sunday morning, and for three days it seemed almost as
if the windows of Heaven were literally opened. The branches of the
Calaveras were higher than during the memorable flood of '52. Bridges
have been carried away from several streams, and the swollen torrent
rushed along through gulches and ravines, carrying before it everything
that obstructed its course; we have heard of several accidents, but
no losses of life. In attempting to cross a stream, a horseman was
carried down the river for some distance, but finally reached the
shore from which he started without suffering any inconvenience but
a thorough wetting. Some gentlemen attempted to go from San Andreas
to Calaveritas, but were compelled to return, being unable to get
over Willow creek. We learn that the Calaveras overflowed its bank,
and that the city of Stockton and the surrounding country was inundated.
The Mokelumne was not as high as during the rain of last week. The
bridge at Sandy Bar was carried away. We have not heard of any other
damage on the Mokelumne.
THE FRESHET IN PLUMAS.--All the bridges in Indian Valley with the
exception of one, the bridges across the East Branch at Twelve Mile
Bar, as well as numerous minor ones, were carried away, by the late
POLICE COURT.--The police business of yesterday was disposed of by
Judge Gilmer as follows: The case of W. Reed, charged with assault
and battery on R. Fox and B. Callahan, was dismissed. Fox and Callahan,
previously convicted of assault and battery on Reed, were fined $10
each. . . . The case of John Mahoney and John King, charged with the
larceny of a boat belonging to R. H. Vance, worth $25, was partially
examined, and continued for further testimony until to-day. Vance
proved the boat to be his. It had been missing about two weeks, when
it was found in the possession of the defendants. Their statements
as to how they came in possession of it were contradictory. The
testimony on this point was also conflicting. . . .
SIDEWALKS.--Our attention has been called to the bad condition of the
sidewalks at several points near the Capitol. The lot at the northeast
corner of Seventh and I streets, belonging to Dr. Pearis, has no
sidewalk on either front. That on the south side of I near Sixth is
also in bad condition. At a point on the east side of Seventh between
I and J, and also between J and K streets repairs are badly needed.
The Legislature will assemble in a few days--Monday next,--and for
many reasons these repairs ought to be completed before that time.
If owners neglect the work the authorities ought to attend to it as
is provided by ordinance.
BOAT UPSET.--At about noon yesterday a small boat containing two
men, a woman and a child, was swamped by the waves produced by the
Gov. Dana on her way from Marysville. The accident occurred opposite
Mike Bryte's ranch, three miles above the city. The parties in the
boat were all saved by clinging to the beat and to the willows along
the shore, near which the accident occurred. They were rescued by
Joseph Gray, Andrew Conlin and Nicholas Short, with the aid of a
small boat, by which they were taken one at a time to shore. As the
steamer did not halt, it is presumed that her officers did not
witness the accident.
THE RIVERS.--There had been but little change at sunset last evening
in the Sacramento river during the past twenty-four hours. The gauge
still indicated twenty-two feet three inches of water. The American
river at the tannery commenced to rise about noon yesterday and rose
moderately throughout the afternoon. The slough near the Gas Works
rose about an inch during the latter portion of the day. . . .
COMPANY A.--Company A, Captain Joseph Smith, of the Fifth Regiment,
was brought to the city yesterday from Sutterville, by the steamer
Gov. Dana, and was transferred to the steamer Antelope, for San
Francisco, a few minutes before her departure. The company numbered
seventy-eight men. Considerable delay was caused in transferring
the men from one boat to the other, on account of the prevalence
at the time of a heavy rain and terrific gale of wind.
FURNISH THE LUMBER.--Overseers Long and Dreman, with the chain gang,
are engaged in constructing street crossings wherever the material is
furnished by property owners. Furnish the lumber, and let the streets
be again made passable to pedestrians.
WAITING FOR GOOD ROADS.--A large number of teams are detained on the
Auburn road; between that road and this, waiting for roads and weather
by which they can travel. . . .
RAIN.--Our city was visited yesterday, by way of variety, with a violent
storm of some two or three hours duration. The rain which fell, we learn
from Dr. Logan, amounted to 0.400 of an inch. This amount, added to
0.350 which fell during Sunday night, makes 0.750, or three-fourths of an
inch during the past twenty-four hours. We have had about nine inches of
rain during the month of December. . . .
GREAT EXPECTATIONS.--lf the almanacs tell the truth we shall have a new
moon at about 9 o'clock this morning. The hopes of many of our citizens
for clear weather hang upon its horns. . . .
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the undersigned will apply to
the honorable Board of Supervisors of Sacramento City and County,
on the 27th day of January next, or as soon thereafter as the
application can be heard, for a license to keep a Ferry across
the American river, at the old Hereford & Lisle Ferry.
A. C. HARRIS,
December 26, 1861, [d27 80t] R.A. PEARIS, . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3358, 1 January 1862, p. 1
RECORD OF EVENTS IN THE CITY.
Below will be found a brief mention of noteworthy events which have
occurred in this city during the year. Sacramento has suffered
extensively, both by flood and fire, during the year, but her
citizens still retain the energy and self-reliance which have
hitherto been found sufficient to combat more disastrous calamities
than they have experienced in 1861. . . .
March 14--. . . Work commenced on the sewer from the St George Hotel
to the I street levee. . . .
March 27--Very high stage of water in the American and Sacramento rivers,
and great alarm felt lest an inundation of the city should follow. Swift's
bridge at the mouth of the American was swept away. Body of A. J. Baer
found in the Sacramento river, below Washington. A Coroner's jury found
a verdict of suicide.
March 28--Water from Sutter Lake forced its way into the American river,
across First street. Lisle's bridge partially swept away by the freshet. . . .
April 7--The Sacramento levee at the foot of R street was washed
seriously by an eddy, and caused a good. deal of excitement. The
work of strengthening it was commenced at three and concluded at
nine o'clock P. M.. At midnight another alarm was given, and fears
were entertained that the levee would be broken through before morning. . . .
April 8--At one o'clock in the morning a train of cars left for Folsom
for cobble stone with which to repair the levee at the foot of R street;
sixteen loads were brought and used during the day. The work was continued
through the night.
April 9--. . . During a portion of the day the Sacramento river stood at
twenty-one feet and nine inches above low water mark. . . .
April 11--The waters of the Sacramento continued to range at twenty-one
feet and six inches, and upwards, above low water mark, although so long
a time had elapsed since the fall of any rain here that the street
sprinklers were brought into requisition to lay the dust.
April 17--. . . Fifty thousand feet of Puget Sound lumber arrived for
Lisle's bridge. . . . Yesterday and to-day twenty car loads of cobble
stones were thrown into the crevasse at the levee below R street.. . .
April 23--Ordinance passed forbidding the pumping of water from cellars
until the Sacramento river shall have fallen to a point eighteen feet
above low water mark. . . .
May 23--The Supervisors entered into a contract to have the water in the
lower part of the city which had oozed through the levees, pumped out. . . .
May 31--The work of pumping out the water from the lower part of the city
was commenced by Supervisor Hansbrow. . . .
July 17--A free bridge across the American river constructed by Bannon,
Johnson and others was thrown open to travel. . . .
Oct. 22--The Board of Supervisors determined to build a bulkhead at
Rabel's tannery. . . .
STATISTICS OF CALIFORNIA--1861.
CHRONOLOGICAL RECORD OF .NOTICEABLE EVENTS
DURING THE YEAR.
. . .
Nearly every material interest in the State suffered, to an extent
unprecedented, by great freshets which, during the month of December,
swept off houses, immense numbers of cattle, farming and mining utensils,
and other property. In many of the cities and villages, inundations have
destroyed heavy stocks of merchandise, and driven hundreds of families
from their dwellings to seek refuge elsewhere. . . .
The following is a record of some of the noteworthy occurrences and facts
of the year: . . .
March 29 [sic]--Great freshets in the rivers in the northern portion of
the State, causing much damage to property.
March 28--. . . Stage travel greatly interrupted in consequence of the
destruction of bridges by the freshets. . . .
Nov 12--Heavy rains throughout the State. Equipments at Camp Alert were
all afloat. . . .
Nov 17--Tremendous storm of snow in the mountains and rain in the valleys.
Nov 18--No Overland mail received in consequence of the interruptions by
storm in mountains. . . .
Dec 6--Northern California visited by the most terrlble rain storm ever
experienced by American inhabitants.
Dec 7--The effect of the storm very disastrous in the carrying away
of bridges and other property, and the obstruction of telegraphic and
Dec 9--Great inundations throughout the State, causing a fearful
destruction of property. The waters of the Sacramento, Feather, Yuba,
American, and other streams, reached a hight unknown before. Sacramento
City was all under water but the levees.
Dec 11--The high waters slowly receding; communication both by telegraph
and stage almost entirely destroyed within the Slate. Great sums of money
raised in San Francisco for the relief of sufferers by the flood in the
interior. . . .
Dec 13--Telegraphic communication with the East reopened. . . .
Dec 21--The Sacramento Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance ordering
the removal of the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company's tracks and other
property from the river banks and from R street between Sixth street and
Dec 23--Another rising of the American, Yuba, Feather.and Sacramento
rivers, caused by heavy rains. . . .
Dec 26--The most terrible storm of wind and rain ever experienced in
Northern California by Americans.
Dec 27--. . . Travel much impeded by the high stage of water in all
the principal rivers.
. . . The receipts of the city from the levee are derived from a toll of. . .
This amount, judiciously expended, ought to be enough, if the city
levees were once well built, to keep them in tolerably good repair.
The falling off in the month of December is attributable to the general
stagnation of business caused by the recent disastrous overflows. . . .
FLOODS IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY.--The San Jose Tribune of December
The stage for the steamer at Alviso could not pass the bridges over the
Guadaloupe this morning, in consequence of the rise in the river. The
stream has overflowed its banks, and the water is up to the fence of
the Convent Notre Dame. The stages were compelled to go to Alviso by
the new turnpike road. We also learn that the Coyote is very high, and
that the stages for Gilroy, San Juan, Watsonville and Santa Cruz did not
leave this morning, being apprehensive that they could not make the trip
in consequence of the rise in the streams. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The late flood naturally disarranged business to some extent, and caused
to be destroyed or mislaid, many papers in the possession of person who
have generally furnished us some matter for our New Year's paper. We
found it difficult, too, at times, while all were so busily engaged in
repairing damages and rearranging business, to interest in the matter
those who could alone furnish the desired information. . . .
HIGH FLOODS.--A communication in the San Jose Tribune expresses the
opinion that the flood of Dec. 9th in Sacramento was caused mainly by
the bursting of clouds in the mountains, and contains the following
I met Col. Williams at Sacramento. He was there urging some war claims
he had against the Government upon the attention of the Legislature.
In conversation with him in regard to the overflow of '49, he stated
to me positively that he had seen the water at that place (the embarcadero
it was formerly called) ten feet higher than the top of the levee in
front of the city. He further observed that, if I doubted the fact, he
would walk with me to the slough and show me the marks on the trees
that would convince me. I had no reason to doubt the old gentleman's
word, and therefore did not accept the invitation.
We have seen similar marks in waters all over the State, but they are
unreliable in determining the hight of a flood. Trees, unless they are
large and strong, are borne down by the force of the waters, and when
they right themselves again, exhibit on their trunks, and sometimes in
their tops, marks of the flood, such as dead leaves and other floating
matter. We have witnessed these indications often in the interior, and
were deceived by them as to the height of rivers, until a long residence
in the locality and a severe experience with floods gave us more
reliable intelligence. . . .
THE BRANNAN RANCH.--lt is stated that the losses of stock on the Brannan
ranch, on Feather river, will not exceed ten thousand dollars. Most of
the sheep drowned were of ordinary breeds. Some six thousand were driven
to the high lands and saved. . . .
THE NEW YEAR.
. . .
No immediate or peculiar calamity should be permitted to obscure the fact
that our reasons for rejoicing during the past twelve months have been
more numerous and potential than our excuses for despondency. . . .
This strengthening of the ties of allegiance to a form of government
which furnishes the best guarantees of peace, liberty, security and
prosperity, should afford ample atonement for any mere local disaster. . . .
Sacramento, though so recently and so seriously visited, has no
justification for spending a gloomy New Year's day, or for cherishing
unkindly memories of 1861. Previous to the advent of the December floods,
the city had cause to be thankful for her progress in wealth, business
and permanent population. Her position as the second city in the State,
was rendered more than ever secure. Those who had faith in the bright
future of the capital before the rising waters devastated her streets,
cannot lose confidence in the recuperative power of a people whose
energies have been frequently tested and approved, nor yet lose sight
of the natural conditions which render a metropolis located precisely
where Sacramento stands a necessity of the State. No ; let the Old
Year carry with him in his flight all thought of grieving over the
effects of the flood, and the advent of the New Year bring us cheerful
confidence in our destiny, while nerving us to prompt and thorough-going
action, in order to restore what has been lost and to secure safeguards
against a repetition of the calamity . . .
CONVICT LABOR.--The San Francisco Journal has published several
sensible articles on the condition of Sacramento and the levee question.
It thinks convict labor might be successfully employed. In a late number
In an article in this paper on Saturday, we indicated how, at a
comparatively trifling expense, the State can extend to Sacramento the
aid which she so much needs, assistance without which, we may add, she
may be blotted out from the list of the fair cities of our
State--assistance which magnanimity and interest alike command us
to extend. The employment of the convict labor of the State in this
way, while it will confer such important benefits upon the country
by securing it against the destructive inundations to which it is
now subject, commends itself to favorable consideration for several
other reasons. First, it relieves a most important class of our
fellow citizens from a competition alike odious and impolitic--a
competition degrading to our mechanical industry, and which no
pecuniary consideration can ever make tolerable. But as suggested
in the pamphlet to which we have before referred, the employment of
these outcasts upon the works alluded to can be extended to the
reclamation of the swamp and overflowed lands, and by a judicious
system of compensation for their labor, made an effective means of
their ultimate reformation. Levees, canals, and in places stone walls
will be indispensable to the reclamation of these lands, and the
protection of the country from inundation, and there is already a
fund of about $300,000 applicable to the required works, and which
will be ample for the procurement of all the machinery, tools and
materials required beyond what will be cheerfully furnished by the
cities and counties immediately interested in the works. At least,
so much as has been derived from the particular districts upon which
the work is to he done can be thus devoted. The prisoners can be
incited to faithful labor by a provision for the accumulation of a
fund, by setting apart a reasonable proportion of the proceeds of the
sales of the reclaimed lands, from which the discharged convict, at
his release, shall receive his proportion, either in land or money,
thus giving him a small capital at his re-entrance into the world,
and freeing him from the temptation which destitution opens for
entering upon a new career of crime. We are satisfied that legislative
wisdom can eliminate a system which has merely been hinted at in
these papers, by which incalculable good will result, not only to
the people of the river counties, but to the State at large, and we
urge its consideration upon public attention. . . .
THE STORM IN SAN JUAN.--The late storm in San Juan was very severe,
and prostrated fences and trees, and did damage generally to local
GOT AGROUND.--A few days since, the steamer Bragdon, in passing from
Stockton to San Francisco during the late gale, was blown on the bank
of the slough about six miles from Stockton, and remained there without
injury until hauled off by the Helen Hensley. . . .
POLICE COURT.--. . .In the case of John Mahoney and John King, two boys,
tried on a charge of stealing a boat on Monday, and held under advisement,
the defendants were discharged, with good advice from the Court.
THE LEVEE NEAR SUTTERVILLE.--ln addition to the main crevasse,
near Sutterville, through which an immense quantity of water passes
hourly, we are informed by citizens of that locality that about
three-quarters of a mile of the levee is in a very precarious
condition. The water is running over it in several places some six
or eight inches deep, wearing away the bank, gradually it is true,
but surely. In many other places the bank is caving by the action of
the water, and is gone for a distance of one half or two-thirds the
width of the levee. Those who have seen these weak places say that
if they can be supplied with a few bales of hay, a few pickets, and
a few gunny sacks, they could stop the depredation of the waters,
but that if there is no remedy applied soon the levee for the
distance named will have to be entirely rebuilt.
SINGULAR.--On Monday afternoon a footman, on approaching the city,
near Burns' slough, met with a man who was riding a horse and leading
two others, both saddled. As a severe rain prevailed at the time,
he obtained permission to ride one of the horses. The owner, or
ostensible owner rode so rapidly into the city that the borrower
was unable to keep pace with him, and was afterward unable to find
him. The horse was taken to the station house and placed in charge
of Chief of Police Watson. Hia owner has not yet been heard from.
The horse is a large white animal, and has the letter N branded on
the left hip.
BOAT BUILDING.--The most active and universal business now going on
in the city appears to be that of boat building. All who have hammer,
saw, nails and lumber, employ their time in this line of mechanism.
There is, of course, an endless variety of models produced. Had Noah
postponed his experiment at ark building until 1861, and laid the
keel in Sacramento he could have obtained many a new idea in that
line which was never dreamed of in the olden time. Whether he would
ever thereby have reached Mount Ararat is another question. . . .
FREIGHT BOAT.--A large flat boat, ten feet wide and thirty feet long,
was built yesterday at M and Second streets, by J. B. Newland. The
builder launched the craft last evening in the water on M street.
He designs to use it in carrying freight from the business portion
of the city to the present railroad terminus at Poverty Ridge. When
the boat is no longer of use in this line it will be taken to
Georgiana slough to be used as a ferry boat.
THE RIVERS.--The water in the Sacramento at sunset last evening stood
twenty-two feet seven inches above low water mark, having risen four
inches within the past twenty-four hours. This is the high mark of
Friday, December 27th. The American river declined slowly during the
afternoon. The water in the lower portion of the city raised about
eight inches during Monday night, and partially receded during
AT WORK.--The Committee of Safety had a number of men employed on
the northern levee yesterday, wherever work could be done to
advantage between Rabel's tannery and Burns' slough. In consequence
of the rains of Monday and Monday night, and of the continued high
water, it is impossible to work at present except at a few points.
As soon as practicable, a much larger force will be employed. . . .
NOT THEIR WORK.--The Committee of Safety give notice that they do
not consider it their business to make or repair street crossings
or sidewalks, dig drains, construct sewers, or bridges, or remove
nuisances. Their whole business as a Committee they consider to be
to protect the city from inundation. Application of all descriptions
have been made to them for the performance of such work as is above
referred to. . . .
GOOD WORK.--An excellent sidewalk was yesterday partially constructed
in front of the lot belonging to Pearis & Wilcoxson, at the northeast
corner of Seventh and I streets. Lumber has also been provided for
similarly improving other property in the same vicinity. Such
promptness is worthy the imitation of other property owners, as
its effect must be advantageous to all. . . .
YOLO.--The water continues to rise higher and spread further in Yolo
county daily. Many ranches, which have never been known to be flooded
before, are now under water. Several houses belonging to ranchmen,
which were thought to be entirely safe, have been set afloat and
turned over by the action of the water.
THE WEATHER.--After the rainy night and cloudy morning, the wind
veered around from the southeast to the northwest yesterday forenoon.
The clouds disappeared, the atmosphere became cool and bracing, and
the general hope was inspired that the rains were over for the
present. Quien sabe? . . .
THE FLOOD IN SAN FRANCISCO.--Our neighbors in San Francisco have not
altogether escaped the consequences of the storms. The Bulletin
of December 30th says:
The wind blew heavily again last night from the southeast, but we
have learned of no damage to shipping except in one instance. The bow
hawser of the ship War Hawk, lying at Vallejo street wharf, cut
through into her bows some distance. The planking must have been
rotten. The bay was calm again this morning and the skies blue,
but the rain fell toward noon in great quantity. The tide, too,
happened to be higher--the oldest inhabitant says--than ever known
before. These two causes have flooded many of the cellars of our
down town houses. On California street this is especially the case,
as the torrents rushing down the hill are met and held back by the
high tide. This back-water is thus forced through the adjacent
cellar walls. The damage is not very great, as perishable goods
are not kept to any great extent in these cellars. The whole of
the southern portion of the city and county watered by Mission
creek is also flooded by the high tide, and no small damage will
result to gardens of that neighborhood, and large lakes have been
formed in other low lands by the rain.
The Alta adds :
Early this morning the rain set in with renewed violence, and up
to one o'clock this afternoon has fallen heavily and without
intermission. An immense amount of water has fallen, many of the
streets and cellars down town being flooded. At eleven o'clock
the water in the bay rose to an unparalleled hight. It came up
to the caps of the wharves. The great rise was caused by a very
high tide, coming at the same time with a wind from the west
preventing the escape of the water through the Golden Gate, and
a flood in the streams tributary to the bay. Fortunately there
was no wind from the north or south, for a heavy blow sweeping
the bay lengthwise would have thrown the waves over the wharves
and done great damage to the property along the water front. The
tide will be higher to-morrow, the day after, and the next day,
than it has been today, but probably the other influences will
not concur to raise the bay so high as it was this morning. The
roads leading out of town are exceedingly muddy, and in the
adjacent counties almost impassable.
REMOVAL OF THE CAPITAL.--On this subject the San Francisco Spirit
of the Times says:
We think the Sacramento papers have attached too much importance to
what a few irresponsible persons have said touching a removal of the
Capital. So far as San Francisco is concerned, no such an idea has
ever been entertained or even hinted at, much less putting in force
any machinery, political or otherwise, looking towards such an
undertaking. That the people of San Francisco desire the Capital
to remain where it legitimately belongs, was made manifest in the
prompt manner in which they responded to the appeal for relief from
Sacramento. The people of San Francisco do not wish the Capital
located in their city, and have not signified such a wish; and if
there be any who speak contrary to such a view, professing to
represent San Francisco in the premises, they do so without the
slightest right or authority. The Capital of the State is at
Sacramento, belongs there, and must remain there, and even if it
should be necessary to adjourn the Legislature to some other place
for the present, still Sacramento is the Capital of the State, and
some provision should be made by the Legislature about convening
to find means to protect the property of the State. It savors of
a dishonorable act, to us, to even discuss the removal or
probability of a removal of the Capital from Sacramento, for the
reason that she is temporarily in difficulty; but as San Francisco
naturally seems to be the locality aimed at in the Capital removal
articles, we deem it but an act of justice and a part of our duty
as a journalist to disclaim that she desires such a change. Should
the matter of permanent removal come up before the next Legislature,
we hazard the opinion that the vote of every member from the city
and county of San Francisco will be against it, and rightly so.
We entertain a hope, however, that instead of discussing the removal
of the Capital from where it belongs, the feasibility of protecting
it for the future will be one of the prominent measures of the
session. The people of California will not sanction the removal
of the Capital from Sacramento. . . .
CROWDING EXTRAORDINARY.--The Mountain Messenger says they
have got a wooden building up at La Porte, built of seasoned
lumber during he past Summer, between two brick buildings.
It was fitted into the opening so tight that the swelling,
caused by the recent wet weather, is crowding the two outside
bricks to such an extent as to endanger the safety of one of
them. The "devil" of the Messenger office suggests the application
of a bottle of Sherman's Rheumatic Liniment to take down the swelling. . . .
THE FLOOD IN STOCKTON.--Referring to this topic, the San Joaquin
Republican of December 28th says :
The sun came out brightly yesterday, and the latter part of the day was
in strange contrast with the boisterous day before. It is now settled,
if it were not before, that Stockton cannot be seriously overflowed.
The water fell quite low yesterday in the sloughs. The cutting away
of the Hunter street causeway nuisance drained the four lots upon
which the water was backed, completely, though they are partially
in the sloughs. The water in Mormon Slough rose two feet yesterday
afternoon, and at two o'clock this morning was nearly full, and
All the sloughs traversing the city were high at two o'clock and rising.
Several houses situated on low ground near the slough, at the back of
the Stockton Bakery Hotel, were surrounded with water. At half past one
o'clock the alarm bell was rung, and in a few minutes a hundred or more
persons were on their way to Mormon Slough, which was supposed to have
overflowed its banks or broken over the bulkhead. The slough was found
to be nearly bank full, but the bulkhead safe and sound.
The overflow comes from the Calaveras. Miners' avenue, between Hunter
and California streets, was all under. The water was a foot deep in
Supervisor Severy's garden. Col. Connor's bulkhead is partially
is [sic] under water, and the foot bridge was likely to break at
half past two this morning. The slough at Hart's and Shoaff's was
bank full. The water was within half a foot of reaching Hunter street
bridge, and was rising at the rate of six inches an hour. Probably
not a dozen lots in town are overflowed.
A dispatch to the Alta from E. S. Holden, dated Stockton,
December 29th, P. M., says : " Stockton is free from water--damage
yesterday, five hundred dollars.". . .
[drawing of dancing couple]
IN CONSEQUENCE OF THE
unsettled state of the weather, the INAUGURATION BALL will be POSTPONED until further notice. JOHN H. CARROLL,
ja1-8t Chairman Executive Committee. . . .
[CONCLUDED FROM FIRST PAGE]
Nov 11--. . . Considerable quantity of rain fell--first of the season. . . .
Nov 17--The city was visited by a lively shower of hail, accompanied and
succeeded by heavy rain.
Nov 18--The Board of Supervsors rejected the only bid for constructing
a bulkhead at Rabel's tannery. . . .
Nov 29--. . . The Board of Supervisors agreed to contract with
A. D. Rlghtmire for a bulkhead at Rabel's tannery. . . .
Dec 9--By a sudden rise of the American river, consequent upon recent
heavy rains, the levees were broken, and the entire city, with the
exception of the remaining levees, was submerged. About forty houses
were swept away by the flood, and an immense amount of property,
estimated at about a million and a half, destroyed. One man was drowned
by driving his team into a cistern, the cover of which had floated off.
It is not known that any other lives were lost. During the night the
flood subsided, leaving L street and all that portion north of it free,
but the remaining portions of the city have been covered with water to
a greater or less extent, at intervals, to the present day. Liberal
subscriptions in aid of the sufferers were received from San Franclsco.
Dec 11--A citizens' meeting and a Committee chosen to prepare a plan
of action in regard to the inundation and the condition of the levee,
and report on the following day.
Dec 12--At the citizens' meeting, the Committee reported a plan for
rebuilding and repairing the levees by transferring the Sinking and
Interest Fund to a special Levee Fund for that purpose. The Board of
Supervisors had a special meeting called for that parpose, and passed
an ordinance making the transfer as desired.
Dec 13--On account of various legal and other difficulties in the way,
the project of appropriating the Sinking and Interest Fund was abandoned,
and a Committee of citizens was appointed to raise money for that
purpose, the money to be expended by another Citizens' Commitee.
Nearly $60,000 were raised, and the work was prosecuted with a good
degree of vigor. The Howard Benevolent Society exerted its energies
to relieve the suffering poor, establishing a depot at the Pavilion
for shelter, food and clothing, and a hospital in another locality
for the sick . . .
Dec 16--The laborers at the new Capitol building resumed work, having
been driven away by the flood.
Dec 17--The Board of Supervisors voted to cancel the permission given
the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company to run their cars on the R street
levee west of Sixth street and on Front street. . . .
Dec 19--A Citizens' meeting, called to consider the subject of the removal
of the railroad to the northern part of the city, voted to instruct the
Citizens' Committee to go on with the levees without regard to the
railroad; . . .
Dec 23--The American river again broke through at at [sic] Burns'
slough, the location of the flrst break, sweeping away much of the
new levee built by the Citizens' Committee, and flowing through the
southern part of the city. The Board of Supervisors passed an
ordinance repealing former ordinances granting the right of way
to the Sacramento Valley Railroad Company, and enacting that said
company may construct a track into the city as far as Sixth street,
by building trestle work a distance of 150 feet each side of the slough.
Dec 24--A man supposed to be William H. Tyman, was drowned in attempting
to go on board the steamer Nevada. The Sacramento had risen twenty-two
feet six inches above low water mark.
Dec 25--Notwithstanding the uncomfortable stage of the water,
Christmas day was observed with a good degree of hilarity.
Dec. 27--The Sacramento river at sunset was twenty-two feet seven
inches above low water mark, being one inch higher than ever before
known since the country was settled by Americans. By the upsetting
of a boat near Poverty Ridge, two boatmen and six passengers were
ducked, and Wells, Fargo & Co.'s letter bag was lost.
Dec 29--. . . Nearly one-fourth of the roof of the grand stand
at Agricultural Park was blown off by gale.
SIXTH STREET CHURCH--. . . The basement of the church has been much
injured by the late flood, imposing additional expense upon this
society. . . .
H STREET M. E. CHURCH--. . . Up to the time of the great flood the
church had been prospering finely for three months. The congregation
had increased so that the average attendance was more than that given,
and the Sunday School was rapidly advancing in numbers and interest.
The condition of the city has affected both these; but as the property
has not been materially injured by the flood, and the church is now
in comfortable condition, increased prosperity is confidently hoped
for. . . .
SACRAMENTO VALLEY RAILROAD.--. . . The business of the road has been
prosperous during the year, up to the time of the December flood, which
destroyed a portion of the railroad embankment within the city. Repairs
are rapidly progressing. . . .
ABSTRACT OF METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS,
MADE DURING THE YEAR 1861--WITH THE AVERAGES OF NINE YEARS--AT SACRAMENTO--38° 31' 41" N--LON. 121° 29' 44" W.
Altitude at the top of the Levee, in front of the City, 54 Feet 5 Inches. Hight of lower surface of Mercury, 52 Feet 5 Inches above Low Tide at San Francisco--with remarks.
BY THOMAS M. LOGAN, M. D.
[a number of observations, including:]
Quantity of rain and fog
JANUARY. - 2.668
FEB'Y. - 2.920
MARCH. - 3.320
APRIL. - 0.475
MAY. - 0.590
JUNE. - 0.135
JULY. - 0.000
AUGUST. - 0.000
SEPT. - 0.000
OCTOBER. - 0.000
NOV. - 2.170
DEC. - 8.687
ANNUAL MEAN. - 23.201
AVERAGE. - 18.019
. . .
ANNUAL TABLE OF THE NECROLOGY OF SACRAMENTO, FOR 1861.
Arranged according to the Classification recommended by the American Medical Association; with remarks,
BY THOMAS M. LOGAN. M. D
DISEASES AND CAUSES OF DEATH
. . .
From External Causes:
. . .
Drowned - 4
April - 1
July - 1
Male - 4
1 to 10 years - 1
20 to 30 years - 1
50 to 60 years - 2
California and Pacific States - 1
Atlantic States of N. America - 1
F'gn Countries - 2
. . .
SOCIETIES AND ORDERS.
There are in the city a number of Societies, having various praiseworthy
objects in view.
THE HOWARD BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION, organized December 28, 1857,
relieves the sick, poor and destitute, regardless of nativity.
creed or color. Its officers are as follows: President, George
W. Mowe; Treasurer, T. M. Lindley ; Secretary, R. T. Brown ;
Directors, P. H. Russell, C. Robin. John McNeill. John H. Carroll,
William H. Hill and N. A. H. Ball; Steward, George P. Warner. The
confidence which is universally entertained in the efficiency and
integrity of this organization is well attested by the fact that
the generous people of San Francisco made it their agent to receive
and disburse donations to the amount of more than $30,000 for the
relief of the suffering in Sacramento and the surrounding country,
caused by the inundation of December 9, 1861. The labors of the
officers have been so arduous during the past month that it has
been impossible to obtain any statistics in regard to their
transactions for the year. . . .
METEOROLOGY AND NECROLOGY.
[PREPARED EXPESSLY FOR THE SACRAMENTO DAILY UNION.
Abstract of the Meteorology and Necrology of Sacramento, with remarks.
BY THOMAS M. LOGAN, M. D.
REMARKS.--Clouds and rains and storms, attended with unprecedented
floods, have characterized the month, and rendered it exceptional in
many respects. The persistence of the inclement weather, chronicled
in our November report, continued to prevail unill the 7th, when an
almost tropical rain set in, and in the space of thirty-six hours over
2-1/2 inches of water fell at Sacramento. In consequence of this sudden
accession of water which, according to our advices, was in the proportion
of about one here to six in the mountains, the American river rose very
rapidly, and would doubtless soon have run off at its debouchement into
the Sacramento (then only twenty feet above low water mark,) had not the
unseasonable spell of warm weather melted the snow from the mountains at
the same time. From the latter source the waters came rushing down the
sides of the mountains like an avalanche, carrying away dams and aqueducts,
and deluging, in a very brief time, the foot hills, as well as the valleys
lying far below. The levee on the American soon yielded to the sudden
pressure, at Burns' slough, and the natural outlet having been closed
by the railroad embankment, the cumulated mass of water soon found its
level in our streets, and at 12 M. the whole city was submerged, with
the exception of Front and I streets. At the former point the water
attained within sixteen inches of the top, at. 10 P. M,, when it had
reached its maximum elevation. As soon as it found a vent through the
embankment at the south of the city, the water subsided rapidly, and on
the morning of the 10th the main streets were freed from the destructive
element. From this period the weather continued variable and unsettled
until the 22d, when a second term of heavy rains commenced, and
consequently the lower portions of the city were again inundated.
On Christmas the sun broke from its cloudy confines, but the wind
changed again by night to the rainy quarter, and the following day
the most copious precipitation on record was experienced as regards
the proportion of quantity to time. During the space of 13 hours a
warm rain poured down in torrents, accompanied at intervals by a high
wind from the S. E. During this period the minimum of the barometer
was recorded as above. The water which fell measured 2.440 inches,
and the American responded rapidly again, flooding the lower portions
of the city, which had been partially relieved. As the Sacramento
had at this time attained the highest stage on record. viz: 22
feet 6 inches above zero, the American had no other outlet except
through the southeastern portion of the city. That the entire city
was not again submerged is proof practical that there is a much greater
fall in the Sacramento below the city than is generally conceded by
engineers, and that the first extraordinary flood is altogether
attributable to the error of not leaving open a passage for the
escape of the water in the event of a crevasse such as we have
The exceptional characteristics of the month
are found in the unusually high range of temperature, the great
proportion of cloudy, foggy and rainy days, and the large amount
of precipitation, amounting to nearly one-half of our average
annual supply. There is generally a period of intermission between
the early and the latter rains, and doubtless it is now at hand,
as we have already received much more than half of the annual
quantity. Considering all the circumstances, then, meteorological
and physical, just mentioned, in connection with our past experience,
we may confidently predict that the business portions of the city
cannot become inundated again this season. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3359, 3 January 1862, p. 1
. . .
SWEPT AWAY.--The bridge over the Mokelumne, at Woodbridge, was swept
away on Friday night, December 27th, the sudden rise in the river
having taken it off bodily. It then [?] lodged against the bank a few
miles miles below Woodbrldge. . . .
TRAVELING IN THE INTERIOR.--Travel from Auburn to Nevada and Marysville
is much interrupted at present by high water in the sloughs. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
The wires of the telegraph between this point and San Francisco being
down, we are without our usual dispatch from the latter city. . . .
The waters of the Sacramento are falling, but very slowly. The Committee
of Safety resumed operations yesterday morning, and a number of men
were employed in repairing the levee along the American river. . . .
FLOODS IN THE MOUNTAINS.--Persons who come [?] down from the mountains
of Tuolumne and Calaveras, December 30th, inform the Stcckton
Independent that the late floods which have overflowed
the Calaveras and Mokelumne were quite destructive throughout
the mines. The small streams in Calaveras have all been out of
their banks. Flumes, mining claims on the bars [?], fences,
gardens and orchards have been swept away, or ruined by deposits
of sand and water. About Murphy's much damage has been sustained
by the claimants along the bed rock traces [?] which penetrates the
flat; and scarcely a locality has escaped without serious loss. The
roads are nearly impassable. Numbers of the small bridges are gone,
and slides from the hills are frequently encountered.
In Tuolumne, according to the Columbia Courier, the destruction
of property has been equally as wide spread, and work in the mines
was almost universally suspended last Saturday. The Main Gulch flume
burst on Thursday night, completely deluging all the claims in Columbia
gulch. The Water Company's flume was injured to the extent of $5,000.
The telegraph wires were disordered in all directions, and no news came
in either by mail or telegraph. The buildings at Osborn's Ferry were
surrounded by water from two to four feet deep. The end of the ferry
rope had given way, and the river transit had become entirely suspended.
The bridges, including Loving's, were still standing, though constantly
threatened with being swept away by the rise. The rain had fallen [?]
with a steadiness and severity never before witnessed in that part of
the country. . . .
OUR WANT OF CITY AUTHORITIES.--Theoretically, we have city authorities,
but practically, we are without any city government. The Consolidation
Bill professes to furnish the people with a Board of Supervisors,
and a President, who, by virtue of his office, is Superintendent of
Streets and Levees. The salary attached to the office has been three
thousand dollars. This was allowed the President as a compensation
for giving his time and labor to the public in presiding over the
deliberations of the Board, and in superintending streets and levees.
This is the theory, but in practice for the past two years the city
has been without a Superintendent of Streets and Levees. President
Shattuck, so far as we are advised, has taken upon himself very little
more trouble about the streets and levees than any other citizen.
They have been left pretty much to their own care--except what little
has been bestowed upon them by the overseers of the chain gang.
The Board of Supervisors itself has pursued very much the same course
in relation to city matters as its President. The most it has done
for the city is included in allowing accounts and contracting debts
contrary to the spirit and letter of the law. So great is the floating
debt thus created against the City Contingent Fund, that the Board
itself estimate warrants on that Fund as worth only twenty-five cents
on the dollar. The credit of the city has been run down by successive
Boards until it is below zero. So worthless is city scrip that we
question whether there is a lumber merchant in Sacramento who would
sell the authorities five hundred dollars' worth of lumber for even
two thousand dollars in warrants. This condition of things seems to
have been fully appreciated by the Board at its late session.
Notwithstanding the city had been completely inundated, millions
of property destroyed, sidewalks swept away, crossings floated
off and Sacramento left a wreck of her former self, the Board of
Supervisors met, held a session of several days and adjourned without
making a single effort to assist in placing the city in as
advantageous and comfortable a condition as circumstances would
admit. The Board did not even purchase plank to build bridges over
the ditches cut by individuals to drain different portions of the city.
The Board literally has done nothing for the people in their distress.
Of what benefit are such city authorities? Would not the people be
much better off to-day if the members of the Board and the President
were to resign and let the city be placed by them under a provisional
government? One of the earliest acts of the Legislature should be
to pass an Act that will give to Sacramento an efficient city government. . . .
CONVICT LABOR FOR BUILDING LEVEES.
In 1857, Philip A. Roach, of San Francisco, published a pamphlet on
the "State Prison System of California." His main object seemed to be
to demonstrate the impolicy [sic] and injustice to the mechanics of
the State of the contract system as applied to State Prison labor.
He argued at length against the practice of contracting State Prison
labor so as to have it come in competition with the labor of the
mechanics of the State, and suggested that the labor of State convicts
might be advantageously employed in building levees on the Sacramento
and San Joaquin rivers. When engaged in that kind of labor, he argued,
the convicts would be employed so as not to interfere with the
laboring men of the State. In his pamphlet, Mr. Roach said :
If the labor of the prisoners were under the control or the State,
as it ought to be, various works of great importance might be undertaken.
For instance the improvement of the navigation of the rivers leading
to the Capitol of the state might be at once commenced. Sacramento
and Marysville, each in just proportion for such an object, would
probably furnish their quota of provisions and guards for the
maintenance and safety of the convict, with hulks for their lodgment;
and it is doubtful whether more would escape at any time from the
wooden walls, than do now from San Quentin, with its brick ones.
Then let the people of Stockton, who desire to improve the navigation
to their town, enjoy the same privilege--its people guaranteeing to
take charge of the prisoners, and in the event of their escape, to
offer, as the people of Sacramento would, a reward for their
apprehension, even twofold greater than is now required by the lease
under which their services are held. And the people of San Jose, and
perhaps of San Francisco, might profit by the same labor. As there
are many hundreds in the institution, the Legislature might appoint
a Committee, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State, Controller,
Treasurer and Surveror [sic] General, to apportion the number that
each locality ought to have; and the Sheriffs of the different counties,
where the labors were to be performed, might be authorized by the Board
of Supervisors of their respective counties to appoint proper deputies
to assist the State authorities to safely guard the prisoners.
After the improvement of the rivers shall have been accomplished, or
the public roads opened, let the Surveyor General set apart, of the
swamp and overflowed lands, so many acres for the support of the Insane
Asylum, so many for the State Hospital, so many for Orphan Asylums in
the State, to be divided among the different denominations; so much
for the Public Schools, and then, under proper officers of the State,
let the prisoners work to reclaim th«m. While their labor thus employed
would not come in competition with that of the mechanic, it would add
immensely to the wealth of the State. If each convict reclaimed per
day but sufficient to pay for his maintainance, the State would be a
gainer; but with the engineering talent we have among us, the
construction of large canals wculd drain millions of acres, and then
would be serviceable for the purposes of navigation. Millions of the
most productive lands could then be offered at low prices and in
reasonable quantities to the actual settler, and their value applied
to reduce the indebtedness of the State, the interest of which is
gnawing at our vitals. The articles that could be raised on this
land--tobacco, rice, sugar and cotton--are those which we now import
at a greatly enhanced cost, as we are so distant from the countries
of production, and would interfere but little with our usual
agricultural crops. There is another point to be considered. The
Commonwealth reaping the benefit of the labor of her erring children,
could do something for their reformation. Of every hundred acres
reclaimed, let a small percentage be dedicated to a common fund,
to be divided, at the expiration of the sentence, among those who
had labored in the lands. In this manner the convict would have an
inducement to be industrious, and in proportion as he had toiled,
might have something with which, on the expiration of his term, to
commence the world. For many years to come the swamp and overflowed
lands will give employmeet to this special labor, and would certainly
prevent, if so directed, the ruin which now threatens our people engaged
in mechanical pursuits. The State of California, with a seacoast nearly
as great as that of the "old thirteen," must certainly have within it
some article on which this labor can be directed, without coming into
close and unwise competition with that of our people. As it is now,
the cost of the punishment of crime falls upon those who labor in
industrial pursuits. Our Constitution has one merit. The State credit
cannot be loaned directly or indirectly to banks or corporations; nor
can evidences of State indebtedness be issued as a circulating medium;
nor can mortgages on property be issued in the form of bank notes. And
therefore, as against capital, no laws have been framed in any way to
lessen its earnings; nor ought any to be enacted. So in regard to labor,
the same freedom ought to be permitted, and no private individual be
allowed to have the control of five hundred men for his own purposes,
even as the punishment of crime. Think of it! Five hundred
destinies--leases of life--controlled within the limits of one man's
discretion, under the law of California! Now make a contrast. Give
one man to use, within the limits of his discretion, five millions of
the State funds. How the tax-payers would howl! Why should those
living by the labor of their hands be silent?
In a communication addressed to the UNION, Mr. Roach suggests that
the convict labor of the State may be profitably employed in building
levees around Sacramento to protect both the city and State property.
The plan suggested is practicable for building permanent levees and
raising those erected this Winter, but convict labor could not be
made available for the present exigencies of Sacramento. A certain
amount of work must be done as soon as the weather will permit. The
slough at Burns' farm must be closed so as to insure the city against
water from that source. But the work of widening, raising and
strengthening the levees around the city will be prosecuted for
years, and in this work convict labor can be made available. It is in
contemplation to build a levee thirty feet on top, with a base of
sixty feet, raising it several feet above the highest point the water
has ever been known to reach. This will be a work of time, and may
be accomplished by convict labor. It will probably be several years
before it will be completed. It is conceded that, in addition to the
money collected recently, it will be necessary to raise annually, by
a levee tax, a sum sufficient to keep it in repair, and add to its
strength and hight. The conviction is general, that a new system must
be adopted--that we must have a Board of Levee Commissioners to
superintend our levee matters, and that they must be furnished with
funds to place the levees beyond all contingencies. The late floods
have satisfied all that there is no obstacle in the way of building
a levee on the American river which will bid defiance to the turbulent
floods of that mountain torrent. All our flood disasters have been
produced by that river, and were it so effectually leveed as to insure
the exclusion of the water of that river, the people of this city would
consider it secure for all time against inundation. That such a levee
can be built, there is no room for doubt. The fact will be demonstrated
most fully, if the Citizens' Committee can be favored with ten days
of favorable weather. They have made two efforts since the late rise
to begin work, but found it impossible from the stage of water at Burns'
slough, and the soft condition of the earth, to do so. They will commence
to-morrow morning, wind and weather permitting. In the future it is
likely that a horse railroad track may be laid on the line for the
purpose of moving earth from points where it can be obtained to raise
the line to the desired grade. After the Sacramento river falls an
immense amount of material will be rendered available in the large bar
formed by the American river above the bridge. There is material enough
in that bar to build all the levees needed, raise all our streets to
the level of I street, and that, too, without producing, perceptible
reduction in the size of the bar. In calling our attention to the
pamphlet written in 1857, the existence of which we had forgotten,
Mr. Roach addressed us the following letter:
SAN FRANCISCO, December 30, 1861.
EDITORS UNION:--Seeking my way to the Senate chamber on the day of
the flood in 1852, I fell from the levee and narrowly escaped a watery
grave. From frequent conversations with old residents, I feared that
the disasters of 1849 and 1852 might recur. Herewith is forwarded you
a pamphlet issued in February, 1857, to break up the "Levee System of
Prison Labor," and to point out how the convicts could be employed
without detriment to mechanics, and with advantage to the Commonwealth.
The passages marked may prove suggestive. Let the State devote the
convict labor to levee the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. That labor
costs the State, under any circumstances, so much, and it is bad policy
to make it productive by competition with individuals, when vast
interests of State can be promoted by it.
In the Swamp and Overflowed Land Fund there is a large balance which
could be legitimately used to assist the convict labor, in addition
to yearly appropriations, in leveeing and at the time time reclaiming
the overflowed lands. That fund was overborrowed; but speculative heads
may at some future time find pretexts to divert it again, perhaps, with
Let the State devote all its uncontracted labor to the object
mentioned, and with proper engineering talent, the work of five or six
hundred men would, in five or ten years--and what matters the time for
such an object--make Sacramento and Stockton ports at which clipper
ships conld anchor. In any event, the inundated cities should be
assisted by the State, and one of the best resources in its power is
the labor of its convicts.
With willows from the banks of your unruly rivers, bowlders and
fragments of granite from Folsom, the services of several hundred
prisoners would enable you to erect a barrier such as would resist
the stormy billows of a Zuyder-zee or the penetrating water of an
Amsterdam, Brest, Cherbourg, etc., are ports where fleets can ride;
and dike, levee and dredging machine have conquered them from the ocean.
The objections to the Mississippi levee system would not occur here.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin are short rivers compared with the
Father of Waters, and our bay and its outlet bear such a relation to
them in area that the rapidity of the currents would not be increased.
These lines are written hastily, but with the hope of helping a city
whose disasters are so contrastlve to our own. As San Franclsco,
however, has risen like a phenlx from her ashes, may Sacramento rise
Venus-like--invigorated by her bath.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
PHILIP A. ROACH. . . .
HINTS TO SACRAMENTANS.--The San Francisco Call recommends to the people of Sacramento some attention to the following facts:
The water of the Mississippi used to wash away the banks and levees
of the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in spite of all the people could
do. Finally they cut immense quantities of willow rods, which they
bound tightly in bundles, like bundles of grain. These bundles, at
low water, were piled up compactly on the banks of the river, sloping
inward, with earth scattered upon them; the result was that long
ere the season was over the willows sprouted and took root, so that
they became thoroughly entwined together and fastened to the soil
beneath in such a manner that all subsequent floods have proven
powerless to disturb them. It is necessary to watch the willows
and cut them down occasionally, so as to keep them from growing out
into the stream and causing bars to form. As this system has worked
well on trial, it would be a good idea for the Sacramentans to resort
to it for the purpose of rendering secure beyoad a doubt the weaker
portions of their levees--those portions from which danger is always
apprehended in case of a flood. They have abundant material for the
purpose close by them, and to use it properly would cost but a small
THE ROADS SOUTH.--Stockton Independent of December 30th says:
The Columbia and Sonora stage arrived in this city at half past nine
o'clock last evening. We are informed that the rain in the mountains
was very heavy all of yesterday. The road between this city and the
Twenty six Mile House is almost impassable, the stages going over the
entire distance upon the "dead drag," with hubs buried in the mud. At
Kelley's, the floor of the stable was covered with two feet of water,
and the country beyond flooded so as to put a stop to all kinds of
travel. The bridge over the Tuolumne, usually crossed by the Stockton
and Mariposa stages, has been partly carried away.
THE CALAVERAS.--It is stated that this river a day or two since was
two feet higher than at the period of the former flood.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
The Weather in the Interior.
STRAWBERRY VALLEY, Jan. 2d.
Six feet of snow fell on the Summit during the late storm. Sleighing
is excellent in this vicinity. The roads are very muddy, and in a
horrible condition below. The wind is blowing very hard.
NEVADA, Jan. 2d.
It has been raining to-day. Weather windy and cold.
OROVILLE, Jan. 2d.
Thunder storm here to-night--wind and rain. . . .
THE FOOD [sic] ON THE MERCED.--There has been a severe overflow from
the Merced river, which carried away Murray's and Nelson's bridges,
above Snelling's. A dam erected at great expense by Messrs. Flint,
Peabody & Co. of San Francisco, had also been swept, away, causing
an amount of damage impossible to estimate. . . .
FERRIES LICENSED.--Two ferries were licensed by the Board of Supervisors
to run across the slough where J and K streets strike it, but during
the high water neither of them was in operation. This fact proved that
the owners of the boats did not understand their business very well,
or had neglected to make the necessary preparations for high water.
One ferry started Tuesday, and has had all it could do since. Yesterday
and the day before wagons were compelled to wait in some instances
for hours before they could be set over. K street, over which all
the travel passes, is in a wretched condition. Between the holes cut
by water and those made by wheels, it is nearly impassable for a
loaded wagon. Individuals were engaged yesterday in hauling ruined hay
into some of the most dangerous, and it answered a first rate purpose
for filling them up. There is a large quantity of damaged hay lying
around in the city which, if hauled into K and J streets and unloaded
in the holes cut in those streets, could be made very serviceable.
The business men of the city will find their interests promoted by
giving a little of their attention to those streets
THE LEVEE NEAR R STREET.--The levee on the Sacramento river near R street
is washing away quite rapidly at several points. On Wednesday the bank
commenced to cave opposite the large scales constructed by the Railroad
Company several months ago for weighing cars and cargoes of cobbles,
granite, etc. Up to last evening a gap had been made about thirty feet
long, and eight feet wide at the deepest portion. The earth beneath the
railroad track had been carried off, and the foundation of the scale,
which coat $3,000, was threatened. J. P. Robinson had employed during
the afternoon some fifteen or sixteen men, endeavoring to combat the
action of the water. A sheet of canvas was sunk by means of an iron
rail, and a large number of gunny sacks filled with earth were deposited
in the gap. The levee is wearing away with almost equal rapidity,
and much more danger to the city, at a point below the old break of
last year. There are also several places between Q and R which need
attention from the Committee of Safety.
SUPPOSED TO BE DROWNED.--Patrick O'Donnell, of the River House, corner
of P and Front streets, has been missing since Wednesday evening under
circumstances which render it probable that he has been drowned. He was
the owner of the wood barge St. Louis, which lay moored at the levee,
a short distance from the house. At about ten o'clock on Wednes-evening,
Captain Fairchild of Truworthy's barge, passed the St. Louis, and
observed O'Donnell sitting, without his hat, on the plank connecting
the barge with the levee. Fairfield asked if he needed assistance to
get on board. O'Donnell replied that he did not. He appeared to have
been drinking. He has not been seen since. His hat was found yesterday
morning on the barge. He leaves a wife and children at his late residence. . . .
STREET CROSSINGS.--As there will be a necessity for constant
communication--through Committees and otherwise--between the Capitol
at Seventh and I streets and the residence of the Governor at Eighth
and N streeets [sic], it is suggested that the street crossings between
the two points should be attended to at once. Eighth street is said
to be not navigable to pedestrians at the present time. It is further
suggested that there is a large amount of street crossing lumber,
carried away by the late floods, which might be recovered by the proper
authorities, wherever found, and again employed for the same purpose,
wherever needed. . . .
WORK ON THE LEVEE.--A large number of workmen were employed yesterday
by the Committee of Safety at various points on the American river
between Rebel's tannery and Burns' slough. With the wind and sun of
yesterday the ground dried rapidly. The American is yet too high to
justify any attempt to close up the slough.
CLOSING OUT.--The Howard Benevolent Society closed their hotel at the
Pavilion, for want of patronage, last night. We learn that they have
relieved, according to their various necessities, about five thousand
men, women and children since the first flood, and yet have $2,000 or
$3,000 remaining. Their hospital on Fourth street will probably be
closed to-day. . . .
THE LINCOLN ROAD.--During the late freshets several bridges on the
Folsom and Lincoln Railroad were swept away. They are so far repaired,
we are informed, that the cars will today resame their regular trips. . . .
STUBBORN.--The Sacramento river still stands at about twenty-two feet
three inches above low water mark. The water in the lower part of the
city is receding rather more rapidly.
DROWNED.--Edward Lubbeck, a hand on the sloop C. W. Gunnell, Capt. Croft,
was drowned several days ago some eight miles below the city. He was
carried overboard in a gale. . . .
MOKELUMNE CITY.--This place, on the Mokelumne river, is about 6 to 8
feet under water. A ball, which was to come off there lately, was postponed. . . .
THE STOCKTON FLOOD.--The Stockton papers claim that there was no great
flood there after all. The Independent of December 30th says:
Owing to the absence of any system of sewerage several stores on the
south side of Main street, between Center and El Dorado streets, were
covered several inches on the floors with water. These stores (as in
every instance in which water entered the houses) are from two to three
feet below the grade of the city, as established by the Common Council.
In several of the stores to which the water found its way the floors
were below the level of the sidewalk' Of course, any ordinary fall
of rain would enter buildings thus erected but for the protection
the sidewalks afford. The cellars for the most part were submerged,
including the basement of Agricultural Hall. The late extraordinary
rise of water has served to warn our citizens to keep open the natural
outlets--the sloughs--and prevent them from being improved in any manner
which may impede the flow of water through them during the Winter. This
done, and we may rest in perfect security against the consequence of an
overflow; otherwise, we may anticipate a recurrence of the events of
Friday night, with effects more disastrous than the mere washing out
of the sewers, as was the case in this instance. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3360, 4 January 1862, p. 1
LETTER FROM SALT LAKE.
[FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDBNT.
GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 22, 1861.
With profound regret we learn of the sad calamity that has befallen
Sacramento and the river towns--destruction of property and the loss
of life. [Our correspondent has probably received some exaggerated
account in regard to the latter particular.--Eds. UNION] No human
power can ever replace the spark of existence and restore to desolate
homes and afflicted hearts those who have fallen victims to so terrible
a visitation; but, that apart, none doubt that in a few short years
the invincible energy and untiring perseverance of your Western men
will suffice to deface from sad memory the present calamity, save in
its confirmatory contribution to that philosophy that trusts nothing
to the elements, and sees a world of wisdom in that sage exhortation,
"Say your prayers, but keep your powder dry." . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
In consequence of the wires being out of order, we were unable to obtain,
last evening, dispatches from the East or from San Francisco. . . .
While we are enjoying clear and cool weather, the rivers continue about
stationary. Workmen were employed yesterday in making repairs along the
Sacramento below R street, and along the American above the Tannery. . . .
THE STATE CAPITAL.--We have heard it suggusted [sic] that an opinion
prevails in some quarters of the State that the condition of our town
is worse than it really is, and that locomotion to and from our
principle [sic] places of business is difficult. This is a great
mistake. The side.walks in our business streets, and from our
principal hotels and boarding houses to the State Capitol, are
mainly in an excellent condition, much better than they usually are
in the wet season of the year. Since the flood there have been many
improvements in this respect, and there are few towns in the State
where travelers can at this time pass from point to point more
comfortably. It is true that in the lower part of the city residents
suffer inconvenience from water, but the main streets are free from
water and traversed as usual and at ease by men, women and children. . . .
RAIN STATISTICS.--During the year 1860, 7.86 inches of rain fell at
San Francisco. In 1861, 18.64 inches fell--nearly double the quantity
of rain that we had the previous year. The rainy days of the wet
season of 1861 were:
--S. F. Bulletin.
10th. ....... 0.27 1st 0.05
12th......... 0.74 3d 0.07
13th 0.29 6th . 1.02
14th 0.05 7th 0.29
15th.......... 0.08 8th.......... 1.65
16th.. ....... 0.39 9th 0.18
17ih 0.22 l6th 0.01
19th 0.56 22d 0.03
26th. 0.48 23d 1.06
27th 0.60 24th 0.56
29th. 0.08 26th . 2.02
30th 0.34 27ih 0.23
3lst, up to 9 A. M 0.25
In November 4.10
In December 9.54
Total for the season 18.64
GOOD FROM THE FLOODS.--There is never any great injury without some
corresponding benefit. The Placerville Republican cites a case in
point. It says:
The cleaning out of many ravines and canons in the mines, where
tailings had accumulated, left their deposits of gravel which
prospect richly, and can be easily worked. The freshets also, by
removing the accumulations of many washings, have increased the
amount of grade for sluices, and facilitated the working of claims
heretofore unprofitable for want of sufficient "fall," as the
miners express it.
SNOW IN WASHOE.--The Territorial Enterprise of Deoember 25th says:
The snow lay to the depth of two or three inches in Virginia City
yesterday morning. It did not extend below Silver City, having rained
there the entire night. The wind drifted the snow fearfully yesterday,
almost blinding those who were compelled to face it. Last evening the
sky became clear, and the weather was very cold. The water in Carson
river yesterday morning was four inches higher than during the late
rise. . . .
THE LATE GALE IN SAN FRANCISCO.--During the late severe gale, several
vessels dragged from their anchorage toward the ocean. It was feared
that the schooner Bartlett Allen would be driven out to sea, but she
was rescued in time.
POLICE COURT.--. . . Heinrich Frey and Rosina his wife were tried for
assault and battery on a round-faced damsel named Anna McGee. The case
arose from a quarrel about a floating fence, and was chiefly remarkable
for the adamantine character of some of the testimony. Anna testified
positively that Frey struck her two or or three times in the face and
called her vile names, and a lad named Crowley fully corroborated her
story. On the other hand, a German living with Frey, and an elderly
female, who spoke of Anna as "dirty company," swore point blank that
Anna was the aggressor, threatening to knock Frey's Dutch brains out,
while that Teuton only used very mild language indeed, considering the
circumstances. On hearing this testimony Anaa [sic], in blank amazement,
opened her mouth and eyes so that they looked for a moment like three
large O's set in a trianguhr position (°.°). It happened, however, that
Judge Gilmer had himself seen the marks of the blows on the maiden's
face on the day of the assault, and as this was a piece of corroboratory
evidence on which he could rely, he pronounced Frey guilty. As to Mrs.
Frey, there was no evidence that she committed any overt act of hostility
except that of the elderly female, who said "she made Anna run by saying
she did not want her there," so Mrs Frey was discharged. . . .
RELIGIOUS.--. . . The Rev. W. H. Hill will officiate and preach in Grace
Church, morning and evening. The Sunday School will meet as usual after
the morning service. Subject of the morning discourse, "things Done and
to be Done on Account of the Recent Floods." The public--especially all
interested in the operations of the Howard Benevolent Association are
invited to attend. The annual collection in aid of the funds of that
Association will be made on this occasion.
CONDITION OF THE CITY.--All that portion of the city lying north of L
street is now as free from the watery element as it has ever been at
this season of the year. The lower portion of the city is covered with
water, but that is no inconvenience to strangers, who could not, if
no water were there, find hotel accommodations. All the business streets,
and those upon which are located the hotels, are in as good condition as
they have hitherto been at the opening of the session of the Legislature.
New crossings have been constructed wherever they were most needed, and
the members of the Legislature will find that the signs of the flood
consist principally of improved sidewalks and crossings in those portions
of the town usually traveled by them. . . . .
GOOD EXAMPLE.--Harmon & Co. and C. S. Coffin have removed the mud from
the front of their stores on J street, between Third and Fourth, and
thereby set an example worthy of imitation. By hauling away about six
inches of softened mud from the surface, they come to the hard, gravel
bottom. If other merchants along J street should do likewise, the street
could be made to present as dry and hard a surface as in Summer time.
WOODLAND.--The name of Yolo City, located in Yolo county, sixteen miles
from Sacramento, has been changed to "Woodland." A Post Office has been
established at that point. The town is out of water and is in a flourishing
condition. Complaints are made by its citizens that the contractors do
not promptly carry the mail from this city, as they are in duty bound.
NOT HEARD FROM.--Nothing has been heard concerning Captain O'Donnell,
who is presumed to have been drowned on Wednesday night, from the wood
barge St. Louis. His wife states that he left the house a short time
before midnight, against her earnest remonstrance. She has no doubt
that he has met with a watery grave.
LEVEE REPAIRS.--E. P. Figg, of the Committee of Safety, with about a
dozen men, was engaged during yesterday in repairing the levee below
R street. Some two hundred and fifty gunny sacks were filled and placed
along the bank, protected by brush sunk beneath them. Some eighty men
were employed on the American river repairing the levee at that point. . . . .
COOL DAY.--We were favored yesterday with cool weather, and a bracing
northwest breeze--the tendency of which, if continued, must be to
dry up our streets, and lower the water in the rivers. . . . .
ABOUT THE SAME.--The Sacramento river maintains its hight with no
perceptible change, ranging at twenty-two feet three inches above
low water mark.
NEW SIDEWALK NEEDED.--A new sidewalk is badly needed on both parts
of Haworth's lot, at the northeast corner of Fourth and J streets. . . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3361, 6 January 1862, p. 1
[p. 1 filmed twice, first is cut off at bottom and fades to black in lower
right corner, 2nd OK]
. . .
FREE BRIDGE.--The citizens of San Joaquin and Calaveras counties living
on the Stockton road propose to make a new road from the place known
as "Jimmy's Bridge," crossing Shower's ranch and connecting with the
Fanning road by the way of Cady's ranch and the North American. The
Chronicle says :
The bridge over the main stream will be about sixty feet; one of the
sloughs will require a shorter bridge--this will cut off all the sloughs
which now interrupt travel, and the road can be used without any
inconvenience from floods or high water. Toll bridges on the Stockton
road have become a crying evil to all teamsters. The toll from Stockton
to Mokelumne Hill or San Andreas will average about $2.50 per week,
which, in a single year, will amount to $130 on a heavy team; this tax
on freight will all be avoided by the building of a free bridge. The
citizens living on the road are determined to put the road through. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
A timely discourse, entitled "Lessons of the Great Disaster of 1861,"
delivered at Grace Church, in this city, yesterday, by Rev. W. H. Hill,
appears in our present issue, and will doubtless receive, as it deserves,
a thoughtful perusal.
Sacramento was visited by another heavy fall of rain yesterday, which
had a tendency to check the fall of the rivers. A dispatch from
Placerville leads us to infer that cold weather, followed by rain
and snow, has prevailed in that region. At Strawberry, on Saturday,
the mercury fell to sixteen degrees below zero. We are informed that
there was a regular New England snow storm at Marysville yesterday.
There has been also a heavy fall of snow in Carson Valley."
ACCIDENT TO THE STEAMER GOVERNOR DANA.--The steamboat Governor Dana,
on her trip to Marysville on Saturday evening, struck on a bar at the
foot of E street, Marysville, just below the Yuba bridge, and swinging
around, ran into the sycamores on the river bank below. The steamer's
smoke stack was knocked off, but no further damage was done.
AGROUND.--The steamer Autocrat grounded recently on the bank of the
Stanislaus river, a few miles above its outlet; having been forced there
by the late flood, it being difficult to ascertain the direct channel. . . .
CENTRAL RAILROAD.--This road is in running order between Folsom and
Lincoln, all damages by the late flood having been repaired, not in
a temporary, but in a substantial and permanent manner. The traveling
public, undoubtedly, feel anxious to see some progress made in
repair, upon the road from this city to Folsom.
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
Rain at Placerville - Snow and Cold Weather in the Mountains
PLACERVILLE, Jan. 5--8 P. M.
It has been raining here all day, and turned to snowing to-night.
It is snowing hard at Strawberry and in Carson Valley. It was very
cold here yesterday, the ground being frozen hard. At Strawberry
the thermometer stood at sixteen degrees below zero
HOWARD BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION.
The Directors, on behalf or the members, and on this occasion in behalf
of the citizens of Sacramento and vicinity, in submitting their monthly
statement, express the most sincere and grateful thanks to all who have
aided our suffering and destitute poor by their timely and munificent
donations. But for such substantial aid the distress and misery would
have been fearful, and the means of the Association totally inadequate
to have relieved it for one week.
Probably in the history of the United States, there is not a parallel
to the situation of our community on the morning of the 10th of December.
Situated in a saucer, the rim formed by our levees, and the saucer filled
with water; clothing, bedding, etc., saturated; and for the five
succeeding days a thick fog enveloping the place, precluding the
possibility of the mass of people from procuring a change of dry
clothes. The demand for shoes, hose and clothing was universal, and
so pressing that it taxed the energy of all to relieve the pressure.
On the morning of the 9th of December, by order of the President, four
boats were sent to take families to the Pavilion, and preparations made
for their accommodation. Four hundred women and children were provided
with blankets, and all fed by seven P. M., and the Hall was thronged
all night by men and women seeking refuge and shelter. The Pavilion
was twice nearly cleared, when the second and third floods forced the
families again to return, so that there has been an average of two
hundred and fifty persons kept and comfortably provided from the 9th
of December to the morning of the 3d of January, when it was finally
Seventy-five families have been provided with new homes in the northern
portion of the city--theirs being still submerged and a month's rent
paid in advance, provisions, fuel, etc., provided, so that, to a large
extent, they will be hereafter self-supporting. An average of five
hundred persons daily were fed at the Pavilion during the period of
On the 15th December, a Hospital was opened on Fourth, between I and
J, where the sick families were kept, and the whole supervised by
Drs. Harkness, Montgomery and Frey. This was closed--families having
been provided for by us--on the 4th instant
On the 28th of December a pest house was procured and fitted for
patients, and on the 4th instant handed over to the City and County
The Association have kept boats employed in aiding the poor to
recover their effects from buildings partially under water, and will
continue its aid in this manner.
In the distribution of the freshet of money and articles so liberally
supplied to relieve the freshet of wants, the Association, in
pursuance of its constitutional requirements, has not known either
creed, nativity, color or sex, but supplied all who were destitute
and without available means of support.
The imposition to be expected we are satisfied has been but a small
percentage, and all cases known will be published in our next monthly
statement, if in the meantime restitution is not made.
Our relief has been extended to all sufferers in a circuit of twenty
miles of the city, whose cases were known, or applications made by
or for them.
Many of the reliefs have been to those suffering under the severest
affliction from disease, which, were it proper to recite, would be
heartrending and appalling.
Every member of the Association but one--who resigned upon the first
call to duty--responded to the call of the President with alacrity,
and the labors though onerous have been faithfully performed.
The ladies of the city who were able from their exemption from loss,
have rendered us most efficient aid, and scores of philanthropic
citizens have devoted their time and efforts in furtherance of our object.
We estimate the losses in this city alone to be at a low figure,
$700,000, which does not include the losses from disruption of business
or deferred payments of debts.
We estimate the losses within a circuit of twenty miles of the city
at $200,000--principally stock, fences and agricultural implements.
There are upwards of sixty houses destroyed, so that they are unfit
for future occupation.
We have granted upwards of 1,500 dispensations, and relieved 5,000 persons.
The entire medical fraternity of the city have responded to our calls and
treated at least 150 patients
The California Steam Navigation Company, the Railroad Company, the
proprietors of all the stage lines, the Telegraph Company, and Wells,
Fargo & Co., have each in their several departments responded to all
our calls, and rendered gratuitous services.
The Treasurer's statement is as follows :
We have on hand clothing, provisions and wood, valued at $750, and there
are bills not yet presented of equal amount.
Balance on hand December 1, 1861 $998.29
Private Donations, Sacramento .... $405.00
Capt. Littleton,Sacramento 10.00
Gov. J G. Downey, Sacramento 100.00
Wm. H. Beatty, Sacramento . . . 10.00
California Steam Nav. Co., Sacrat'o 1,000 00
W. R Spencer, Sacramento 10.00
Moses Hyman, Sacramento 5.95
Thos. H. Williams, Sacramento 25.00
Rev. W. H. Hill, initiation fee 5.00
Dr. J. F. Montgomery, initiation fee 5.00
J. L Seiden, initiation fee . . . 5.00
Nat. Rennie and others, Folsom 179 00
Sundry persons, San Jose 211.00
Peter H. Burnett, San Jose 100.00
Citizens of Stockton 568.50
Lewis Sober, Mokelumne Hill 50.00
Rev. J. E. Taylor, Presbyterian Church, Columbia 35.00
Rev. Dr. Peck (from a friend in Martinez).... 5.00
Unknown party, San Francisco 5.00
Unknown party, San Francisco .... 30.00
Edward Hull, San Francisco..... 50.00
F. MacCrellish & Co , San Francisco. 100.00
San Francisco Bulletin Co 100.00
J. C. Beideman. San Francisco 100 00
H. W. Stein & Co., San Francisco. . . 25 00
J. B. Roberts, San Francisco ... 100.00
J. Y. Hickock & Co. San Franclsco.. 100 00
R. D. W. Davis & Co., San Francisco. 100.00
Barry & Patten and others, San Francisco 42 50
P. B. Cornwall and others, San Francisco. 300 00
Mrs. W. S. Mesick, San Francisco. . . 10 00
Attaches Custom House, San Francisco........ 309 00
Citizens' Meeting--by A. M. Winn, San Francisco. ..... 232.50
Citizens' Meeting--by A. M. Winn, San Francisco. . 89.30
Charles F. Lott, San Francisco. . .. .. 250.00
Weils, Fargo & Co., San Francisco. . 1,000.00
Parrott & Co., San Francisco ... 500.00
Pacific Mail Steamship Company, San Francisco . . . 1,000.00
B. Davidson & May, San Franclsco.. 500.00
P. Sather, San Francisco 500.00
Tallant & Wilde. San Francisco ..... 500.00
Alsop & Co , San Francisco . . . .... . . 500.00
Banks & Davis, San Francisco 500.00
Kellogg, Heuston & Co., San Francisco................. 200.00
L. Maynard, San Francisco . ...... 200 00
Reynolds, Reis & Co., San Francisco. 100 00
Henry Hentsch. San Francisco..... 200.00
Pioche & Bayesque, San Francisco.. 200.00
Barron & Co., San Francisco 500.00
Wm B. Johnston. San Francisco . . 50.00
J. Mora Moss, San Francisco ..... 500.00
John Sims & Co., San Francisco 250.00
Liverpool and London Ins. Co., San
Francisco........ ....:......... 100.00
San Francisco Lodge No. 3, I.O.O.F. 100.00
Roberts Morrison and others, San F. 55.00
J. Mora Moss--second subscription, San Francisco 100.00
Metropolitan Theater, San Franc'o. 114.25
Unitarian Church--by Rev. T. S. King, San Franclsco 317 25
Yerba Buena Lodge, I.O.O.F San Francisco..... ........ 171.00
Rose Cooper and others, San Fran.. 48.00
D. Norcross, San Francisco 25.00
Children of Trinity Mission Sunday School,Ssn Francisco 15.50
Jerome Rice, at Sacramento. ...... 5.00
Donohoe, Ralstcn A Co. and Castle & Kette,
Committee, San Francisco 10,395.60
[minus 1,148.50 = , assume add'n error] 20,589.90
Total.. [plus 1,148.50 =] $24,317.64
Paid bills audited Dec. 3 $ 324.99
Paid rents for families, boaatmen, drayages,
nurses [?], Hospital and Pest House expenses,
cooks, etc. 2,050.00
Drygoods, blankets, etc . . . 8,322.58
Boots and shoes. 1,878.98
Mattresses and furniture. 1,276.19
Drugs and medicines 63.42
Hardware, stores, etc. 624.90
Amount returned Ladies' Protection and Relief
Society. San Francisco, portion of amount
subscribed by M Brumagim 250.00
Balance, Jan. 6, 1862 ..... $3,810.52
We have endeavored to procure the subscription list from the Committee
in San Francisco, who collected and forwarded the large sum of
$10,395.60, but it has not yet come to hand. Soon as received we will
give fall credit to the parties. In addition to the sums of money,
large and valuable contributions have been received of clothing,
both new and old, in all of the value of $5,800--from the following
Frank Baker, San Francisco, dry goods.
Roberts, Morrison & Co.., San Francisco, boots and shoes.
Lazard Freres & Co , San Francisco, dry goods.
Jennings & Brewster, San Francisco, clothing.
L. & M. Sachs, San Francisco, clothing.
M. Heller & Bro., San Francisco, dry goods.
Hardy & Rutenburg, San Francisco, dry goods.
Badger & Lindenberger, San Francisco, clothing.
L. B. Benchley, San Francisco, comforters.
Mrs. Alvan Flanders, San Francisco, cases children's clothing.
Murphy, Grant & Co., San Francisco, dry goods.
Mission Woolen Mills, San Francisco, blankets.
J. Seligman & Co., San Francisco, clothing.
M. Guerin, San Francisco, shoes.
J. B. & Co., No. 400 Sacramento street, San Francisco, dry goods.
B. Hamburger, San Francisco, dry goods.
Samuel A. Woods, San Franclsco, boots and shoes.
F. Henderson, San Francisco, dry goods.
Mrs. Beck, Lee and others. San Francisco, clothing.
Jansen, Bond & Co , San Francisco, dry goods.
Wilson & Stevens, San Francisco, cases provisions.
Metropolitan Market, San Francisco, provisions.
Old California, San Francisco, clothing.
Amelia Moss, San Francisco, clothing
Heyneman, Peck A Co., San Francisco, comforters.
Scholle Bros., San Francisco, clothing.
Goodman, Hamburger & King, San Francisco. [sic]
Hecht Bros., San Francisco, clothing.
Rosenstock & Price, San Francisco, shoes,
Mrs. A. J. Nesbitt, San Francisco, clothing.
Jones & Dixon, San Francisco, women's skirts.
Mrs. J. H. Holt, San Francisco, clothing.
Simon & Dinkelspiel, San Francisco, clothing.
J. M. Strobridge, San Francisco, clothing.
H. M. Newhall & Co., San Francisco, clothing.
S. Herman, San Francisco, clothing.
Levi Strauss, San Francisco, clothing.
Hobart & Co., San Francisco, shoes.
Goldstein, Ryan & Co., San Francisco, dry goods.
R. Meyer & Co., San Francisco.
Insane Asylum--from matron--Stockton, clothing.
Citizens of Stockton, merchandise.
Miss Mary Atkins, Benicia, clothing.
Heuston Hasting & Co., Sacramento, clothing.
Charles Crocker, Sacramento, shoes.
A. Dennery & Co., Sacramento, crockery.
Booth & Co.. Sacramento, Provisions.
Wheeler & Wilson, of San Franclsco, sent two sewing machines with workmen and material, which rendered us efficient aid for several days.
The Commander of the Navy Yard tendered 300 rations for fifty days.
I. S. Van Winkle, of Sacramento, allowed us to use the second floor
of his new brick house, on Fourth street, for a hospital, free of expense.
There were a number of cases and packages received the donors of
which we do not know. If any have been omitted in the foregoing
enumeration, it has been from inadvertence, ard we will be pleased
to make mention of all.
While our thanks are due and most heartily given to all who have
assisted us and made the Association the almoner of their bounty,
yet to the people--the noble, ardent, and self-sacrificing men and
women of San Francisco, our most fervent thanks are tendered, and
the record here presented will be a lasting memorial of their fraternal
affection and readiness to aid any and all who are in distress.
Our extraordinary labors are over, yet for two months to come we shall
be obliged to make large expenditures for provisions and fuel for many
poor families, whose means of support are crippled and at any moment
may be entirely cut off. The Association is fully equal to the
emergencies of any character that may arise, and desires that all
citizens will enroll themselves as monthly subscribers of one dollar,
and whatever other aid may be needed we will call upon our own citizens,
without fear of the result. Donations can be left at the stores of the
Secretary or Treasurer, and subscribers can leave their names and
residence with the Steward at the Depot, corner of Sixth and
On behalf of the Association.
GEO. W. MOWE, President.
R. T. BROWN, Secretary.
SACRAMENTO, Jan. 6, 1862. . . .
THE LEGISLATURE.--The Legislature of California will commence its
thirteenth session at the State House in this city at twelve o'clock M.
to-day. Nearly all the members have arrived in town, and, accompanying
them, the usual army of newspaper correspondents and reporters,
office seekers, lobbyites and hangerson. These fill the hotels and
boarding houses, and, thronging in all the public places, give to
our city an appearance of more than usual bustle and animation. Of
course the usual amount of caucussing, planning, wire-pulling and
scheming of all sorts has happened, the results of which, so far as
any results have been attained, are noticed elsewhere. Members from
abroad are agreeably disappointed as to the condition in which they
find the city. In some instances they had been led to think that the
whole city was still submerged by the recent floods, and that boats
weuld be necessary to enable them to reach the hotels and to traverse
the streets; but they find instead that the streets in all that part
of the city which their business will require them to visit are in
about as good condition as they ever are in Sacramento, or any other
city, in California at this season of the year. There is reported
to be a movement, probably having a speculative origin, to attempt
to bring about a temporary removal of the Capital or the Legislature
to San Francisco, but we do not apprehend that such an attempt will
be countenanced by sensible men in either branch. The general
impression last evening was, that neither House would permanently
organize to-day, but would adjourn early to give all sides an
opportunity for caucussing.
RAIN AND SNOW.--There was a heavy fall of rain yesterday, commencing
about ten o'clock in the morning, and continuing without much
interruption till late last evening. At first the rain was mingled
for a few minutes with a very respectable flurry of snow, the large
flakes sailing slowly downwards like a cloud of geese feathers, but
melting as soon as they struck the moist earth. A snow storm in
Sacramento is a spectacle very rarely witnessed. From Dr. Logan's
rain gauge we learn that from ten o'clock A. M. yesterday to two
o'clock P. M., .67 of an inch had fallen; from two to nine P. M.
the fall was 1.12. Total fall in eleven hours, 1.79, and no signs
of abatement. . . .
THE RIVER.--Sacramento river continued to fall very slowly on Saturday,
but during the day yesterday it remained about at a stand, an inch or
two less than twenty-two feet above low water mark. It is not likely
to recede further while the present heavy rain continues. The water
sets back from the Sacramento so that it is difficult to determine
the exact condition of the American river, but if, as accounts indicate,
there has been a fall of snow instead of rain in the mountains and
foot hills, an immediate rise in that turbulent stream need not be
THE MOON.--It was predicted that the last change of the moon would
bring with it a favorable change in the weather, and so it did; but
unfortunately it did not stay changed. Those who have faith in the
moon will, however, derive some comfort from the fact that another
change is at hand. The moon "quarters" at thirty-seven minutes past
two P. M. to-morrow, at which time, if not before, we hope Jupiter
Pluvius will see fit to retire, and allow Sacramento to "dry up." . . .
OVERBOARD.--A woman and child fell into the slough, near the Gas Works,
on Saturday afternoon, and were rescued from drowning by a gentleman
who happened to be passing. We did not learn the names of the parties. . . .
THE LEVEE AT RABEL'S TANNERY.
EDITORS UNION: I was examining the late work of our Committee of Safety
at this point yesterday. They are undoubtedly doing everything that
they think is needful in the premises, and are making a good outside
levee. But while looking at the operations there, it occurred to me
that a greater service could be rendered and the city much better
protected if the waters of the river could be led to take a direct
west course through the willows, a short distance above, instead of
attempting to fight its whole force at the tannery, where it is
disposed to cut into the bank. It would not require much digging to
lead it off above, and the force of the current would do the rest.
But if this is decided impracticable, or the right of way can. not
be obtained from Norris except at great cost, then I would suggest
that willows be planted thickly on the line of the levee facing the
river, and the levee or levees there be sown with alfalfa, whose roots
will strike down deeply and strengthen the earth embankment. I would
suggest that the sooner this is done the better, in order to take
advantage of an early growth. The Committee can do this in a short
time, as the labor of two or three men only will be required a portion
of one day.
A TAXPAYER. . . .
COOL WEATHER IN SAN FRANCISCO.--ln San Francisco, January 4th, thin ice
was discovered. The thermometer was down to 32 degrees. . . .
THE LEVEE DEFENSES OF SACRAMENTO.
EDITORS UNION: I had expected that, among the many cases of good levees
which have been referred to in your journal, the celebrated "dyke" of
Colt, the pistol manufacturer, would have been mentioned ; but it seems
left to me to call your attention to it. The circumstances which led to
its erection are like those which led to the erection of the levees
around Sacramento. Colt owned a large tract of land known in New England
as the "Connecticut Meadows," which was subject to annual inundation.
Around his land he built a levee which has always succeeded in keeping
the waters out from the tract inclosed. So confident of its
effectiveness was the proprietor, that he has built his immense
factories, twenty or thirty splendid dwellings, and all the outhouses
of his palatial mansion, on ground which seldom escaped the Spring
freshets, relying for protection on his artificial breastwork. My
object is to tell you how it is made so secure. The work is built
much higher than there is any danger of the river's ever rising.
In its narrower part two or three carriages can pass abreast, while
it is generally much wider. It is mostly clay, covered with a thick
stratum of gravel; steep on the inside, sloping down to the river
on the outside. The means taken to prevent washing away are what
I wish to notice particularly. While the dyke was building, a
European gardener was on the way to Connecticut with a great many
thousands of French willow cuttings, which were merely stuck into
the gravel on the outside bank. They sprouted and grew rapidly,
so that the year after their planting the crop of cuttings, made
into baskets, paid all the expenses of transportation and original
purchase. And I honestly believe that since these willows were
planted, the proceeds from the manufacture of baskets from annual
cuttings, has amounted to half the cost of the embankment. Colt's
willows are of the choicest variety for baskets, besides being the
best kind for their protective use, on account of the density with
which they grow, and their long, deep roots. If your levee building
Committee should consider this worth notice, and the plan of Colonel
Colt worthy of imitation, I have no doubt, from his characteristic
generosity, that he would present a sufficient number of cuttings
to your city if he knew what a benefit they would be.
MARYSVILLE, January 3d.
THE FLOOD IN SUISUN.--Solano Herald, referring to the late flood
in Suisun City, says:
Since Friday of last week, the country round about Suisun and Fairfield
has been covered with water, causing considerable damage and much
annoyance in the way of washing down fences and depositing mud on
the fields, and rendering the roads well nigh impassable. On account
of the floors settling, parts of Jackson's warehouse were flooded
to the depth of one layer of sacked grain, the other warehouses
narrowly escaping similar injury. We hear of several cases of stock
perishing in the vicinity, large numbers suffering from their
location in the tules.
THREE MEN DROWNED.--On the 27th of December, three men were crossing
the West Branch of Feather river in a boat, which was capsized and
all were drowned. Their names are--John Edgerton, of Cavan county,
Ireland, John F. Lamson, of Bangor, Maine, and a Kanaka, From the
best information we can gather, says the Butte Record, the
Kanaka was crossing the other men in a boat which he kept near the
lower natural bridge, when it got swamped and they were all lost.
BRIDGE GONE.--The bridge over the South Fork of the Mokelumne was
carried away by the late flood in Calaveras. . . .
LESSONS OF THE GREAT DISASTER OF 1861
Preached in Grace Church, Sacramento, January 5, 1862, after
the disastrous overflow in that city in December, 1861.
BY REV. WILLIAM H. HILL, RECTOR
TEXT--Ecclesiastes vii. 14; and Galatians vi. 2: "In the day of adversity,
consider." " Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
This is emphatically the time for consideration--for reflection on the
past; examination of the present; amendment for shortcomings; repentance
for sin, and wise resolves for the future. The close of the old, and
the beginning of a new year would call to all this, under any
circumstances. And had nothing uncommon occurred, I should have felt
it to be my duty, as we enter upon the scenes and vicissitudes of
another year, to call upon you, seriously to consider your ways,
and inquire, "Is it well?" Solemn indeed is it to listen to the knell
of the dying year--to feel that its record of good and bad is made up
for the final judgment; and to enter upon the rolling months of a new
year, not knowing but what it may be written of us, as it was of
millions a twelvemonth since. "This year thou shalt die." And if to
die--what then? Aye, what then ? Will not, must not both pastor and
people ask that question with earnestness and anxiety? God grant to
you and to me an answer of peace. And if this be a duty--the necessary
work of the wise man at the close and beginning of every year--what
shall we say of the present time? Truly has "the day of adversity"
come upon us as individuals and as a community, and who is there that
does not feel compelled to pause and consider. The hopes and expectations
and accumulations of years gone in an instant! Death in its most
terrible form escaped in numberless cases, almost as by miracle!
Suffering and distress so appalling that words cannot describe!
Burdens too heavy for enfeebled shoulders to bear, and the strong
summoned to support the weak, by a call to which none might turn a
deaf ear, lest He, whose Omniscient Eye watched over all, should say
to the faithless servant: "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the
least of these my brethren, ye did it not to me: Depart ye cursed."
Aye, ye know well, my hearers, what has been the record of the past
three weeks. Some of you have felt the iron entering into your own
soul--none, I trust, turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the needy
and the suffering.
I ask you, to-day, to stop awhile and consider all these things; what
you have seen; what done; what left undone; what you have yet to do.
I could not call your attention to these topics sooner. I felt that
when hundreds and thousands of my fellow beings were suffering for
the necessaries of life, and a duty was thrown on me as a Christian
minister and one of the almoners of the bounties of others--(God bless
the liberal souls who remembered us in our distress and helped us wipe
away the tears from so many eyes!)--see that their aching hearts were
relieved, their crying wants supplied, that I had no time to turn aside
from such scenes, to write essays on Providences in general, in my study,
or utter commonplace sentences of condolence and sympathy. I felt that
the poor creatures needed something more than words to insure that they
were "warmed and filled" in this hour of their poverty and distress. It
was to me a time when it was the incumbent duty of all to make practical
that test of true religion which the Apostle gives: "Pure religion and
undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless
and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from
the world." For all that has been done, let the praise and glory be
given to Him who opened the hearts of His earthly stewards, teaching
them the glorious truth that it "was more blessed to give than to
But we have a breathing spell at last. We may now sit down and rest
awhile, and discuss plans and work--past and future. And to-day it
is my duty and privilege to help, so far as in my power, your thoughts
and good resolves towards the right direction. We will invoke the
aid of him, "without whom nothing is strong and nothing holy;" for
if He guides, we will be sure to walk in the right path and do all
things for the best.
We first ask--What was seen during and after the late great
and disastrous flood? I answer--as has probably been true of every
great and fearful calamity--the development of both extremes of
human nature, the bad and the good. And of both, we may say, as the
prophet did of the figs he saw in vision: "The good were very
good; and the naughty, very naughty and bad." I could believe
in the doctrine of "total depravity," methinks, as I was compelled to
witness such developments of the wicked heart as have been brought to
my notice. Would that the mark of Cain could be affixed to the brow
of all such--that henceforth they might be avoided by all good men
and true, as the prudent would avoid the most loathsome of diseases.
And sometimes, methought, the devils must have blushed as they saw
their own depravity outdone by beings who called themselves men. I
refer to those--not few in number, I am sorry to say--who could see
and hear drowning men, women and children appealing for relief, but
would not go to them until exorbitant sums of money were prepaid.
Such ill-gotten gains will burn the pockets and souls of the
extortioners, and though men may never know who they were,
God will remember their unrighteous and unholy work; and fearful
will be the recompense; for, though often long delayed, His
judgments are sure, and he is fearful in His wrath. Pass on, then,
ye miserable imitations of men. We will only say of yon, further:
"Room for the Leper; room!" Akin to these--though not so far gone in
depravity--are those who have laid, and in some instances consummated
plans to impose upon the Relief Committees of the city. We have seen
persons sacrificing a lifetime's reputation for honesty and truth to
get a morsel, as it were, of the food and clothing designed, as they
knew well, only for the distressed and the worthy. Let these, too,
pass. We want no black list of their names published. We leave
them, too, to the righteous judgment of Him who is angry with
those who rob the widow and the orphan for gain. We feel sad that
such people live in our midst. Let us try to forget them and their
We gladly turn to a more pleasing theme--the good things that
were seen. Noble souls were in our midst, and they were not few in
number. Faithful were they in their good deeds, and hundreds owe
their lives to men whose very names they know not, but which are
written on a scroll, nobler and more lasting than all the records
of earth. The good Lord bless them, one and all, and give them one
hundred fold in this world, and in that to come life everlasting.
The same we say, too, of those--not few in number, too, either--who opened
their houses to the destitute and suffering, and fed, lodged and
clothed them, without hope or expectation of fee or reward, except
in the approval of a good conscience. And here let me express the
thanks of an overflowing heart to those noble people of our commercial
metropolis, who gave of their means until the pitiful cries of the
destitute were hushed, and the most exacting could say, "It is
enough." If we forget them for this, let the right hand forget its
cunning--the voice in silence die.
While summing up the things that were seen, let me say, as one to
whom most thereof was brought home with most vivid distinctness, that
the suffering was most appalling, the distress beyond expression.
I could detail instances that would thrill your hearts, by the most
tame of descriptions, but I will not begin that work, lest I know
not when and where to stop. Much of this, too, and that, if possible,
the keenest and greatest, kept itself in the background till sought
out by benevolent souls or was forced out by the sternest necessity.
We hope that we have found out all, and to the extent of our means,
relieved the suffering brought to our notice, May it never be our lot
to see the like again, either here or elsewhere.
What has been done? Much, we trust, of which no earthly
statistics can be kept or given. True charity ceases to be such when
it degenerates into boasting. Let all this, then, be excluded as we
try to say a few words as to what has been done, and the principles
which have guided the action of those who were the intrusted almoners
of the bounty of our fellow citizens, and especially of that which
flowed in so copious a stream from our brethren in San Francisco.
I shall speak more especially of the Howard Benevolent Association,
for of its doings I know well. I would by no means be understood as
excluding others. I well know that many hundreds of generous souls
were indefatigable in searching out and relieving the necessities of
the suffering. And indeed there was work enough for all. I know of
some individuals, whose names I would gladly publish to the world,
but it would be a pain and not a pleasure to them were I to do so.
I will only say to such the better, more precious words of Him who
saw all and remembers all: "God is not unrighteous, that He will
forget your labor that proceedeth of Love; which Love ye have showed
for His name's sake, who have ministered unto the saints and yet do
minister." Some, and perhaps all, of the religions societies in our
city worked well and faithfully in helping their suffering poor. So
did the other benevolent societies that are an ornament to our city.
I heard, and may say I know of acts done by the Freemasons, the Odd
Fellows and the Hebrew Benevolent Society that were not only in the
highest degree creditable to them, but shamed the laggardness of
professing Christians, who ought, like the Master they have
vowed to serve, to be foremost in "doing good." Many an aching heart
was cheered; many a desolate home restored; many an impoverished
larder and wardrobe replenished by these Good Samaritans, who did
their work in secret, but will be rewarded openly.
Having thus contributed my feeble mite of praise to all these, you
will pardon me if I now direct your attention to the Association first
named and its work. Many of you have seen a little of that work. Some
have perhaps heard charges of favoritism--imputations of error--and
alleged instances of imposture. As to the first, let me, testifying
as one who knows of what he speaks, enter a most unqualified
denial. I know what I have done, and I believe, too, that I can
speak as positively for those with whom I have acted. We have neither
known, nor sought to know, what was a man's or woman's religion, or
whether they professed any at all--nor what was their color or race,
or condition in life--nor whether old or recent residents of the State
or city. The one only question sought to be rightfully determined,
was, "Are you in distress? do you need, or will you receive relief at
our hands?" and then we endeavored to grant all that was in our power,
erring, if at all, on the charitable side, and to do it in the most
delicate manner possible, not censuring, but appreciating and humoring
(if you please) the scruples and reluctancy of the most fastidious.
Not a question was asked, or intended to be asked, save what was
necessary to guard against imposture, and the recommendation of any
reputable citizen was sufficient to open wide the doors of our
distributing depot. I say this most, broadly and unequivocally,
because I know what was done, and how it was done, and
because I desire to repel at once and fully all imputations of
favoritism. To the extent of our ability we desired and endeavored
to say to all, substantially, and not in words merely,
"Be ye warmed, and be ye filled."
That errors were committed, and that some things might have been
done better and wiser than they were, is cheerfully admitted.
Perfection belongs not to man. We only believe (pardon the egotism,
if it be such) that no other men in our city could, in the peculiarly
trying circumstances under which we were compelled to act, and that
promptly, too, have made fewer mistakes. Had the complainant been
in our place, I know he would have wondered that no more blunders
were made. We only ask to be acquitted of intentional wrong,
and that acquittal belongs to all. Much, too, has been said of
impostures on our bounty. It could not be helped. Nearly all
the blame we have received grew out of our wish and intent to detect
these attempts of the lazy and the worthless, that we might have the
more to give to those who were in need. We know that we were imposed
upon, but to a much less extent than has been said and believed. Many
of the stories brought to our notice were investigated, and the alleged
imposture was found to be none at all. I feel satisfied that I am far
within bounds when I declare my belief that the impostures upon us
were less than ten per cent of the applications, and to me the only
wonder is that they were not threefold that amount. Granting, then,
all the deductions that may be made from all these sources, we know
that since the ninth of December--the day of the flood--we have
relieved, and liberally, too, the suffering destitution and wants
of at least six hundred families. Very few of these had less than
three members--the mass had more than five, and many of them eight
or ten. There were the old, the middle-aged, the youth and the
infant; the sick and the infirm, for which a hospital was established,
cared for gratuitously by the three medical members of our Association.
And here let me say, that all our city physicians deserve special
mention for their generous and gratuitous services to all the
sufferers by the flood. A large number of the families relieved
by us had lost their all. They were supplied with a temporary home
at the Pavilion, and when the waters subsided, were put again into
as neat and well furnished houses as our means would permit.
A few ungrateful ones have marred the general thankfulness, but as
a whole, the hearty "God bless you" of those persons ready to perish,
has more than repaid for all that was done. Of the thousands of
dollars that all this has cost, and which must yet be expended, I
cannot speak with precision. I only know that it must be reckoned
by tens of thousands, and that for the mass we are indebted to the
people of San Francisco, though liberal contributions have come from
many other places, for which we express many thanks. Due acknowledgment
for all will soon be given. So much have we done. May God pardon all
errors, and own all that has been done well and with good intent.
We ask no praise. Give the honor and the glory where all
belong--to Him who opened these generous hearts to come so nobly
and so seasonably to our relief.
We turn for a moment from the past and present to speak of and for
the future. What is yet to be done? I answer, much every way. The
text selected from the writings of St. Paul preaches to us its own
sermon; and needs no explanation or enlargement. "Bear ye one
another's burdens, and so fulfill the laws of Christ." Our work is
far from being done. As individuals, we have and shall have very much
to do--in lending the helping hand to the suffering poor, as their
cases are brought to our notice; in severing the worthy from the
unworthy, and seeing that the former suffer not for the ill deserts
of the latter. All can take part in this work, for it may be done
with a slender and even an empty purse as well, if not to so great
an extent as with a full one. The kind word of sympathy--a few hours
work with the needle--an errand done for the helpless--a good word
spoken for the deserving, to those who have an abundance and to
spare--all, I repeat, can do this work, and all should. Thus will
they lift heavy burdens from the shoulders of the weak--fulfill the
law of Christ--for He will say to such, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto
one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me; Come ye
blessed." Let all, then, give attention to those things while the
pressing need exists. It will do all good. "He that watereth others,
shall be watered himself." It will teach you, my hearers, how many
blessings you have, of which your fellows are deprived, and you will
cease ever so disposed to murmur at your lot. It will lighten your
own cares and burdens, for the prayers and blessings of the relieved
will give you strength.
The Association of which I have spoken so freely to-day, and in
behalf of which a special effort is now made, has a great work to
do in the future, as it has had in the past. They have many a
destitute family on hand that must be cared for till brighter days
dawn upon them. Work is also thrown upon them from which others
shrink, for fear of contagion. We, as an Association, for I
speak for them, have taken that duty, disagreeable as it is, upon
ourselves, though legitimately it belongs to others and not to us,
and by the help of God, we will endeavor that no one shall suffer
for food, nursing or medical care. We then ask you, and all, to
strengthen our hands; to give us your confidence, your sympathy,
your material things--for this work costs money, and our pockets
are neither large enough, nor deep enough to meet the demand. Let
then your contributions be as becomes the work to be done; your own
ability; your appropriate thank offering for the mercies whereby
God hath made you to differ from another. We offer you the best of
all investments and security--work of Him who is Truth itself: "He
that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and look, what
he layeth out, it shall be paid him again;" [sic, missing "] Blessed
is the man that
provideth for the sick and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the
time of trouble." "Let every man then do accordingly as he is disposed
in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a
As CITIZENS, interested in the prosperity of our city, you have much
to do. Prophets of good and of evil are amongst us, and time alone
will determine who are the true and who the false. The depression
and sadness we need not wonder at, for thousands can truthfully
say, "Is there not a cause?" Yet it will not hurt any one, but do
good to all, to be hopeful and look on the bright side. For one,
I believe our city will recover and more than recover the lost
ground--that the scenes of desolation now to be witnessed will soon
disappear, and this be again a city of flowers and shrubbery; of
fruits and of CHEERFUL HOMES. The very calamity from which we have
suffered, and which men would not believe possible till it came upon
us, has taught our authorities wisdom that they will not soon forget.
Our guards against floods will now be made sufficient--at least as
much so as human foresight and labor can do it. The pitiful scramble
for the emoluments of office will, for a while at least, give place
to the higher law of self-preservation. Let all, then, be cheerful
and look forward to brighter days. Severe is the lesson we have been
taught. Let us show that we have learned and profited by its teachings
like men--like Californians, of whom it has heretofore been justly
said, that they rise the more buoyant and determined from the
pressure of the heaviest calamities. So let it be with you, my
fellow-citizens. A cheerful countenance, and a determination to
make the best of adverse things, is a capital in bank, of itself,
from which all may draw. "Bear ye one another's burdens," by
cheerfulness and encouragements, and do not increase theirs and
your own by despondency and anticipations of coming evil. Your
mercies and blessings yet far outweigh your losses, and God can
and will more than make all these last good to you. Only trust to
him. "He is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain;" for
"Behind a frowning Providence He hides a smiling face."
One other thought and yonr attention will be relieved. I have just
alluded thereto, and I would have you ever keep it foremost in your
minds. There are effects and second causes, which are things of sight
and suffering, and hence they very naturally absorb attention and
comment and action. But in all things--in adversity as well as in
prosperity--there is a first great and moving cause. God still wills
and governs. His Providence is not only general, in controlling the
mighty movements of the universe, but particular, now as ever, to
the fall of the sparrow and the numbering of the hairs of the head.
His hand has been in this our calamity. Why and wherefore is
not for me to determine. Let there be deep searchings of heart on
the part of all, to see if the answer does not readily suggest
itself. Cause enough do the best of us give Him to punish us, and
that severely. Did He but deal out to us the measure of our deserts,
and as we treat our fellow men--alas! who could stand before Him, or
answer for one of a thousand of our transgressions? Humble then
yourselves before Him in this dark hour. Confess your sins unto Him
and implore His pardon and forgiveness. Then will the black cloud
begin to show its silver lining--the rainbow of peace again attest
that the floods shall no more be upon the earth; and our Heavenly
Father teach us so plainly that all this was for our good, that we
will thank and love him the more. Learn, then, I pray you, this
lesson of submission. Pray for grace to change afflictions into
blesssings. Above all, learn by these disciplines of earth that
here is not your home, but only a tarrying place for a brief while.
"Set your affections on things above." Lay up your treasures in
heaven, and then you will and can lose nothing. All the changes
and chances of this mortal life shall only insure to you, through
the mercies of Jesus Christ, an abundance of those glories and
riches which never fade, for they are those of Heaven. Thus will
your light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for
you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
God grant that so it may be with us all. Amen.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3362, 7 January 1862, p. 1
STATE PRISON MATTERS.
EDITORS UNION:--Seeing several communications lately in your valuable
paper, in reference to the use of State prison labor, and the hope
therein expressed that the coming Legislature and new State
Administration would take the necessary steps to make such labor
useful in repairing, widening and strengthening the levees in this
city and vicinity generally, I have thought proper to inform you
(being perfectly conversant with the subject), that Governor Downey,
Lieutenant Governor Don Pablo de la Guerra, and Attorney General
Williams, who compose the present Board of State Prison Directors,
have placed it entirely out of the power of the new Administration
or present Legislature to aid the city under any ordinary
circumstances--by ordinary circumstances I am to be understood
as saying that the natural increase would not give an aggregate
for some time to come sufficiently great to leave at the disposal
of the State any surplus, after supplying contractors, for the
objects before mentioned. The average number of prisoners for the
past year has been not far from 550; and I propose to show how utterly
impossible it will be to obtain any benefit from that labor for
so desirable a purpose as to make Sacramento impregnable from inroads
of the waters of the Sacramento and American. A few figures, easily
understood, will show what use Downey & Co. have made of the power
vested in them, in the disposal of convict labor for the benefit of
the mechanics and working men of California. His first
contract was with Donald McClellan, proprietor of the Mission Woolen
Mills, for one hundred men at 50 cents each per day for one year.
That contract has been extended within a few days to a period of three
years, upon the same terms. Mr. McClellan is making a clear daily
profit of from $150 to $200, so it is easily seen he has a fine thing;
but many a poor person suffers who is brought into competition with
his work. The next contract was for sixteen months work of fifty men,
at 50 cents per day, by E. T. Pease, in the coopering business,
commencing July 1st, 1861. Thomas Ogg Shaw follows--one hundred men
for five years from October 1st, 1861. He pays, for mechanics, 75
cents each per day, and for laborers, 50 cents per day. These men
are to be employed in the manufacture of agricultural implements,
blacksmithing and cabinet work. And now, last, but not least, follows
ex-Lieutenant Governor Quinn and Colonel Ross, who, thinking the brick
business would still pay when the best brick makers in the State could
be hired for 50 cents a day, step in and contract for a hundred of them
for the season of 1862, making the total number of prisoners contracted
for three hundred and fifty. Add to this one hundred who are either
sick, crippled or lazy and won't work, and one hundred more for waiters,
cooks, butchers, bakers, room cleaners, and assistants generally, and we
have a total of five hundred and fifty. It is, therefore, easily
perceived that no aid can be looked for from that source, and any
speculations upon the subject are idle and of no avail, owing to the
far sighted policy of Downey & Co.
SACRAMENTO, January 3d, 1862. . . .
HIGH TIDES.--During the last week, says the Petaluma Journal of January
3d, the creek has been higher than at any other time since the Winter of 1852.
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors held yesterday, a resolution
was adopted instructing its Chief of Police to remove forthwith the
track, and all other obstructions belonging to the Sacramento Valley
Railroad Company from all streets west of Sixth street. This is designed
as an enforcement of ordinances recently adopted by the Board. . . .
Notwithstanding the heavy fall of rain on Sunday, our rivers remain
about stationary. The weather continues chilly. The coast range and
the foot hills of the Sierra are covered with anew. Much snow has
fallen at Carson City, Red Bluff, Colusa aed other points. . . .
THE HOWARD BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION.--The good work performed by this
noble and praiseworthy Association, during the past month of disaster
and trial, should entitle the members to the lasting gratitude of this
community. The difficulties with which they had to contend, and the
untiring energy they displayed, are but modestly indicated in the
statement which appeared in our columns yesterday; they appear to
be anxious to give due credit for generous exertion to everybody
who, in any way, contributed to strengthen their hands--reserving
no claim of merit for themselves. But, certainly, the almost constant
labor, personal sacrifices, exposure, and judicious management of
these philanthropic citizens will be fully acknowledged in Sacramento,
while the individuals whose distress has been relieved will cherish
the liveliest memories of their effective and kindly efforts. Although
it is probable that the most trying and extraordinary work of the
Association has been completed, it should not be forgotten that for
two months to come large expenditures will be necessary in order to
supply, with fuel and food, many poor families whose means of
subsistence have been diminished or destroyed. Material aid is
required, and a sufficient sum can be easily obtained by the simple
enlargement of the list of monthly subscribers. No citizen could
contribute one dollar a month to a more praiseworthy purpose. We owe
it to ourselves, to Sacramento and to the administration of a noble
charity, to sustain the "Howard" with all possible liberality.
In the monthly report of this Association, we have an estimate of the
losses sustained by the city and adjacent country, in consequence of
the deluge with which this region has been visited. The document says:
"We estimate the losses in this city alone to be, at a low figure,
$700,000, which does not include the losses from disruption of
business or deferred payments of debts. We estimate the losses, within
a circuit of twenty miles of the city, at $2,000,000--principally
stock, fences and agricultural implements." We think it probable
that these estimates will be found considerably under the actual
figures. There are many cases of individual loss, concerning which
no complaint has been made--instances of the destruction of household
goods, etc., which the losers have not deemed worthy of mention at
a time when others have been nearly ruined, and of which it was
impossible for the members of the "Howard" to gain any information.
For the rest, the report of the Association is a faithful record of
a disaster that will always be a conspicuous event in the annals of
the city--a story of cloud, gloom and distress, only relieved by
those gleams of heroism, philanthropy and selfsacrifice which often
render a season of adversity a blessing in disguise, and exalt our
estimate of human nature.
SUPERVISORS VS. RAILROAD.--The Board of Supervisors appears determined
to make itself ridiculous about the railroad. They yesterday passed
a resolution ordering the Chief of Police to take up the track west
of Sixth street. As the order of the Board is illegal, and as the Chief
of Police is not an appointee of the Board, we presume he will decline
to obey an order which renders him liable for doing an illegal act
under a resolution of the Board, which would not protect him.
One of the widest crevasses made in the R street levee by the first
flood was at Sixth street, and if the Chief of Police were to take
up rails as ordered, he would be forced to begin west of that crevasse.
The proceedings of the Board relative to the railroad are farcical.
Not the first legal step has been taken in the premises, and as a
consequence the Board will involve the city in a costly suit in which
it will inevitably be beaten, and the Railroad Company will go on as
if no such body as the Board of Supervisors ever existed. The Board
seems to be using the railroad as a kind of shield. They would direct
the attention of the people to something besides the fact that in all
the disasters inflicted upon them by the floods, the Board of
Supervisors--the city authorities--has not taken a single step towards
relieving the people from the effects of the deluge through which
they have passed. Such city authorities are worse than none. J street
is now impassable for want of bridges across the drains cut to let
the water pass from the north portion of the city. Why do not the
members of the Board take such steps as are necessary to have those
drains bridged? Better the Chief of Police to attend to that.
So much has K street been traveled since the flood, that from
Thirteenth to Sixteenth street it is not passable for wagons with
loads. Three or four were mired between those points at the same
time, yesterday. But none of these difficulties of getting in and
out of the city seem to trouble the Board the members can see nothing
but the railroad west of Sixth street. If the Board would make an
effort to do something for the benefit of the city, we would take
pleasure in recording the fact that the members had really made
one effort for the relief of the city. . . .
KNIGHT'S LANDING.--The News of January 4th says:
The water of the Sacramento river was higher yesterday at this place
than it has been since the memorable Winter of 1852-3. Although
suffering no inconvenience from it yet, a foot more would submerge
a great portion of the town. . . .
DROWNED.--At O'Donnell Flat, Sierra county, December 27th, Wm. Dongman
was drowned. He fell from the foot log as he was attempting to cross the
river. . . .
THE WEATHER.--Dispatches to the Bee, dated January 6th, contain the
CARSON CITY.--lt is snowing hard here, and the ground is covered to
the depth of two feet It is very cold.
PLACERVILLE.--It rained here all day yesterday and turned to snow last
night; the ground covered this morning. It has been raining all day
to-day, and the roads are in a very bad condition. The streams are not
very full, the snow not melting in the mountains.
MARYSVILLE.--Very cold and a little cloudy. Can see the foothills, low
down, covered with snow in all directions. It has not rained since
half-past three o'clock this morning.
FOLSOM.--Raining lightly, but very cloudy. River rises slowly--rose
about a foot to-day.
MARYSVILLE.--There was quite a severe snow storm at Marysville,
January 5th. It continued for abcut half an hour. . . .
THE RIVER AT THE TANNERY.
EDITORS UNION: "A Taxpayer" and "Publicola," in your issue of this date,
have some interesting statements respecting Sacramento's protection.
Publicola's ideas would not work well at Rabel's Tannery. For it is not
the surface that is acted upon by the water, but a layer of sand
underneath that wears away and causes the surface to cave. His
proposition would work well provided the surface was the shifting
material. About fifteen or eighteen hundred feet north from the
tannery is the mouth of a slough, or an old river bed. That is
overgrown with small trees and densely interwoven with vines.
"A Taxpayer" proposes to open a way for the water to pass freely,
and the river would likely make its own channel.
Many visits to that locality to examine the water's action have
satisfied my mind that such is the proper course. The river would be
shortened nearly two thousand feet, which would make the current much
more rapid and effectual in making a channel. A narrow ditch would be
of great service, and would not necessarily be more than about six feet
deep, aad most of the way less than that would be sufficient
Trees and brush sunk along the threatened bank next the Tannery would
be the surest protection. You have advocated that course, and a
correspondent relates that towns in Iowa have been protected in that
way. They would be as effectual as anything, and much cheaper than
The right of way across the bar can be appropriated by the Legislature
by satisfying them that it is necessary.
SACRAMENTO, Jan. 6th. T. F. P.
THE AMERICAN LEVEE.
EDITORS UNION: I am opposed to angling and winding levees. To illustrate
my idea, I will state that we have to contend not against the water that
runs within the natural embankment of the river (as that takes care of
itself), but that portion of water that runs above, nearly the whole of
which takes an independent course of the low channel of the river. For
instance: at Burns' slough the bed of the river is near a half mile off
from the mouth of the slough; but that portion of the element that we
have to contend againat comes down from Brighton, sweeps over this
intervening half mile, willows, brush and all, and strikes our levee
(the People's Committee are now rebuilding) nearly if not at right angles.
Now, would it not he wiser in us to build a strong levee, commencing on
the south side of the mouth of Burns' slough, running thence near if not
altogether in a straight line to the river by Rabel's tannery or
Thirty-first street, then cut away the old levee immediately east of
this terminus for at least forty rods? So that as the water comes down
from Brighton it would not be interrupted, but would pass along in a
straight course into the natural channel of the river about Rabel's or
You may guide the element, but you cannot force it; or, it is more
difficult to force the element to one or the other side than it is
to guide it in its natural course. TAX PAYER. . . . .
. . .
INSOLVENCY.--C. B. Linton filed on Saturday a petition in insolvency
in the District Court. The petitioner states that in the Spring of
1855 he commenced dealing in grain, in this city, with a cash capital
of $8,000. Continuing business for six months he lost $1,000. He then
went into the grocery business with $7,000, and continuing for the term
of eighteen months lost $4,000. He susequently invested his remaining
capital in bees, at the rate of about $100 per hive, and also purchased
on credit at the same rate to the extent of $2,000. He also established
a store in Nevada county, by which he lost considerable by bad debts,
etc. By the time the bees were ready for market they had depreciated in
value at least seventy-five per cent. On the 9th of December, 1861, a
large proportion of them were swept away by the flood. His remaining
property has been attached by the Sheriff to satisfy claims on which
suits have been commenced. His liabilities are given at $3,944.14, and
assets at $450. . . .
SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS.--It was a matter of general remark yesterday
afternoon, that the mountains either side--the Sierras on the east and
the Coast Range on the west--were covered with snow to the foot hills.
The Coast Range has never been known, since the settlement of the country,
to present such an appearance. Snow is frequently seen in Winter on the
loftier peaks of the range, but never has so general a covering of white
been observed before. The Red Bluff steamer which arrived yesterday
brings word that the snow at that point fell eight inches deep, and
verifies the report by a sample of the snow which fell upon her deck
and was shoveled up in a solid mass for the pnrpose of preservation.
At various points along the river the inhabitants were amusing
themselves with sleds and sleighs of elaborate workmanship like many
of our Sacramento boats. . . .
FAILED TO ARRIVE.--It was expected that Company F, Capt. A. W. Cullum,
and Company H, Capt. J. M. Cass, of the Fourth Regiment, would have
arrived at the railroad terminus, from Auburn, by the noon train from
Folsom yesterday, to proceed to Camp Union. They failed to reach Folsom
in time for the cars, and will therefore not reach this city until
to-day. It was expected that they would travel from .Auburn to Folsom
on foot, and the rains of Sunday probably caused their detention.
The remainder of the regiment it is expected will be down within a
few days, and soon after their arrival it is presumed that the Fifth
Regiment will leave for San Francisco.
THE LEVEE WORK.--The Committee of Safety commenced work yesterday in
repairing the openings in the Thirty-first street levee. Over one
hundred men were employed at the three principal points north of J
street by which the northern portion of the city had been flooded,
and by night the repairs were completed, and the levee put in a
condition which will, in the opinion of members of the Committee,
preclude the possibility of any more water from that quarter. One
or two other openings near L and M streets will be repaired to-day.
It is the design of the Committee to resume work as soon as
practicable on the American river, between the Tannery and Burns'
RAILROAD LUMBER.--The barge Victoria, Captain Shaw, arrived at the
foot of R street, on Sunday, with a cargo of 108 thousand feet of
lumber from San Francisco, for the Sacramento Valley Railroad
Company. This is probably the largest cargo of lumber ever
brought to the city. It consists of 10 by 12, 12 by 12 and 12 by
14 inch pieces, varying in length from thirty-five to sixty feet.
It is to be used in building trestle work in repairing the R street
Railroad. . . .
STATU QUO.--Sacramento river, was not swollen to any perceptible extent,
yesterday, by the rates of the day and night before. Strange as it may
seem, the American river had not, at the tannery, risen one inch at
sundown last evening. The mountains were visited with snow instead of
rain, which fact, of course, explains the condition of the rivers.
RAIN.--The total amount of rain which fell during Sunday, Sunday night
and yesterday forenoon was 2.690 inches. This storm was quite
extraordinary, from the fact that a violent northwest wind prevailed
throughout. We have seldom had rain from the northwest, and never
so large a quantity.
HARD ROAD TO TRAVEL.--The only road by which teams can at present
leave the city for the east or south, is by way of K street and the
ferry at the fort. K street is in poor condition for traveling with
even moderate loads. Yesterday at almost any hour from six to eight,
stalled teams could have been seen on it, between Twelfth and
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
MONDAY, January 6th, 1862.
The Board met at 2-1/2 o'clock P. M. Present-Shattuck, President;
Granger, Hansbrow, Russell, Hite, Dlckerson, Hall and Waterman. . . .
Supervisor DICKERSON called attention to the importance of establishing
a new ferry at L, M, or N streets, to accommodate the travel on the
upper and lower Stockton roads. He was authorized to say that
G. W. Colby was desirous of establishing such a ferry.
Supervisor RUSSELL. moved that a license be granted to Mr. Colby
for this purpose, upon the payment of the license .fee of of $30.
Supervisor HANSBOW thought the grant might interfere with the
ferries already licensed and injustice might be done to their owners.
After some farther discussion the subject was postponed until the next meeting.
An application was received from Mrs. Amanda C. Harris. L. B. Harris
and R. A. Pearis, the owners of Lisle's bridge, across the American
river at a point just below the old Hereford & Lisle ferry, for a
temporary license for a ferry until they could repair the damage done
to their bridge by the late flood. They had already established a ferry
to accommodate travel, and thought they could complete their bridge
within sixty or ninety days. The applicants were represented on this
occasion by counsel.
Supervisor GRANGER favored the postponement of the consideration of
the matter. There was a legal difficulty in the way which should be
first adjusted. He understood that there was a ferry already
established and no inconvenience could result to the publlc from
the postponement. He moved that the consideration of the application
be postponed until the 26th instant.
Mr. CROCKER, attorney for Samuel Norris, who is an applicant for a
license to establish a permanent ferry at the same point, said that
Norris did not wish to press the consideration of the question at
this time. He suggested that the proper course for the Board to
pursue, under the circumstances, would be postpone the subject until
the 20th instant, when Norris' application would come before the Board.
The question recurring on Supervisor GRANGER's motion to postpone the
subject until the 26th, the ayes and noes were called, with the
Ayes--Granger, Russell and Dickerson--3.
Noes--Hansbrow, Hite, Waterman and Hall--4.
Supervisor HITE then moved to postpone the matter until the 20th
instant, in accordance with the suggestlon of Mr. Crocker.
Counsel for the opposing parties were permitted to argue the question.
Mr. WINANS, attorney for Harris & Pearis, contended that at this time
neither party had a right to make application for a permanent ferry.
His clients only wanted permission for a temporary ferry, which the
statute, he thought, gave the Board ample authority to grant, without
notice. The Board had nothing to do with any legal controversy between
Norris and Harris & Pearis. Counsel asked that the temporary license
be granted without delay.
Mr. CROCKER denied that the rights of the opposing parties were in
litigation. That could not be the case, because Norris had not yet
obtained a license. He contended that the statute did not permit the
Board to grant ferry licenses without due notice, and said that
justlce to the parties to this controversy demanded that the subject
should be postponed until Norris' application came before the Board.
The motion to postpone the subject until the 20th instant was then
unanimously adopted. . . .
Supervisor HITE submitted the following, which was adopted:
Resolved, That the commlttee on Roads. Bridges and Ferries
are hereby authorized to advertise for proposals for the construction
of bridges across Sutter Fort Slough, on J and K streets.
Supervisor HITE stated that the city was permitting a harvest to pass
without reaping any benefit--ferries now paying a large profit to
private parties. He knew that individuals were ready to build bridges
upon terms favorable to the city.
Supervisor HANSBROW said that an impression had got abroad that there
waa no intention to enforce the ordinance passed at the last meeting
in reference to the removal of the track and tanks of the Sacramento
Valley Railroad on Front street. He thought that the ordinance should
be promptly enforced in order to show that the Board was in earnest.
He submitted the following, which was unanimously adopted :
Resolved, That the Chief of Police be insructed to proceed
forthwith to remove the rails and all other obstructions made by
the Sacramento Valley Railroad, from off all the streets and levees
west of Sixth street, under direction of the Superintendent of Streets.
President SHATTUCK desired some instruction in reference to the manner
Supervisor HANSBROW said it was probable the work of removal would
be enjoined by the railroad company. He did not anticipate any
difficulty, but if any increase of force was rendered necessary
thousands of citizens would be ready to assist in the enforcement
of the ordinance. He wanted the Board to show the Sacramento Valley
Railroad Company that it (the company) did not own the city of
Sacramento. . . .
On motion, the Board then adjourned to meet at ten o'clock this morning. . . .
Coroner Reeves held an inquest, on Sunday afternoon, at Camp Union, over
the body of a private belonging to Company K of the Fifth Regiment, named
David Bradish. The deceased had been missing since Dec. 9th or 10th, about
the time of the flood. The body was found below Sutterville on Sunday
morning. In the afternoon, the Coroner, on hearing of the fact, repaired
to the camp, and impanneled a jury composed of William K. Ellis,
Washington W. Hyde, Charles Lawson, Daniel Folley, Samuel Puryear,
and William Russell. There was but one witness examined :
George Dutton, sworn--I belong to Company K, Captain Tidball; I
recognize the deceased now before the jury as being the body of
David Bradish, a private of Company K, Captain Tidball; he left
this camp on the morning of December 9th, and has not been seen
since, to my knowledge, until the body was discovered yesterday
below Sutterville and reported to the camp, and by order the body
was removed to this place; deceased's age is about twenty-eight
years; a native of Pennsylvania; is a single man and has a
brother-in-law residing near Georgetown, in El Dorado county;
I do not know how the deceased came to his death, but am of
opinion that he was drowned in attempting to cross the breach
in the levee between the Half-way House and Sutterville; there
was no money or valuables found on deceased to my knowledge.
The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the name of
deceased was "David Bradish; a native of Pennsyvania, aged
twenty-eight years; and that he came to his death by being
accidentally drowned on Tuesday, December 10th, 1861; and that
deceased was a private in Company K, Captain Tidball, Fifth
Regiment California Volunteers." . . .
BEAR RIVER DITCH.--This ditch suffered considerably by the late
flood, so much so, that the supply of water has been entirely
cut off. Men are engaged in repairing the injured places as
fast as possible, and in a very short time the miners will
receive their usual supply of that necessary article--water.
The Gold Hill ditch, too, has suffered to a considerable extent,
but will soon be in working order again.--Auburn Advocate. . . .
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3363, 8 January 1862, p1
TUESDAY, January 7, 1862.
The House was called to order by the Clerk, J. M. Anderson, at eleven o'clock. . . .
Mr. O'BRIEN offered a resolution that H. A. Lease be appointed
Mr. WARWICK said he would prefer to nominate for that position one
James Parker, otherwise known as "Billy the Boatman," a man who
exhibited commendable bravery, and rendered efficient sarvice to
the cause of humanity during the recent flood. It would be a well
deserved compliment to that man, and he moved to amend the resolution
by substituting the name of Parker for that of Lease.
Mr. O'BRIEN said it was only the usual courtesy to aliow the old
officers to serve until their permanent successors should be chosen;
but he did not regard it as of much consequence, and the House could
take such action as it pleased on the subject.
The amendment proposed by Mr. Warwick was lost, and Mr. O'Brien's
resolution was adopted. . . .
For Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Mr. SEARS nominated Jeremiah Watts, of Nevada.
Mr. DENNIS nominated C. B. Fleming of Placer.
Mr. SAUL nominated J. Parker of Sacramento, and said that was the
gentleman whom his colleague (Mr. Warwick) had so highly eulogized
for his gallant conduct in saving lives during the recent flood in
Mr. WRIGHT nominated E. E. Turk of Yreka.
Mr. WATTS received 39 votes. Mr. Fleming 10, Mr. Parker 9,
Mr. Turk 8; and Mr. Watts was declared elected. . . .
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
. . .
At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, held yesterday morning,
definite action was taken in regard to the Rightmire claim against
the city. The bill was returned by the Auditor with objections,
and the objections were sustained by the Board. Rightmire announced
his intention to hold the members individually responsible for
the amount be claimed. . . .
The Sacramento fell several inches yesterday. There is little or
no change in the condition of the American. . . .
STATE PRISON CONTRACTS.
. . . A year subsequent to the signing of this contract, it had become
so unpopular, and such horrible reports of the treatment of prisoners
were made to the Legislature, that a bill was passed annulling the
contract with Estell & Co., and instructing the Governor, John B. Weller,
to proceed to San Quentin, and take possession of the prison and prisoners
in the name of the State. He obeyed instructions, the contractors merely
making such opposition as was necessary to save their legal rights.
They subsequently succeeded in obtaining a judgment against the State
for the full sum they would have been entitled to under the contract
had they continued in possession of the prison and prisoners. The Courts
decided that the Legislature could not annul a contract into which the
State had regularly entered in that way, and the effect of the hasty and
illegal proceedings of the members cost the State several hundred
thousand dollars. Our Board of Supervisors may profit by this example
in their action toward the Railroad Company. Legislative bodies cannot
disturb by Act rights which have been vested in individuals or companies
by previous contracts. . . . .
RAIN IN SANTA CLARA.--By the late rains Santa Clara Valley was almost
deluged with water, and the roads were in such condition, January 6th,
that the stages could not leave for San Francisco. It seems a public
meeting was held at Santa Clara on Monday, December 30th, for the
purpose of securing the State Capital for that town. The San Jose
Mercury says it was a failure, but another meeting will shortly be
called. . . .
LIBRARY REPORT.--From the quarterly report of the Board of Directors of
the Sacramento Library Association for the quarter ending January 6th,
we obtain the following information concerning the affairs of the
Association: . . . .". . . There was overdue, on the 1st instant, on
account of monthly dues, the sum of $265 50, a major part of which would
undoubtedly have been in the treasury, but for the adverse circumstances
prevailing in our midst for the past four weeks. . . . Arrangements were
perfected for a course of six lectures, by distinguished gentlemen of the
State, and the course commenced under very favorable auspices, as most
of you are aware, but from unforeseen and unavoidable causes a temporary
interruption has occurred. It is designed to resume the original plan
at the earliest possible period, and we confidently anticipate for the
course a success fully equal to that of preceding years." . . .
THE FRONT STREET RAILROAD.--No action was taken yesterday towards carrying
out the policy of the Board of Supervisors with reference to the Front
street railroad. Chief of Police Watson did not deem it to be his duty
to commence the work of taking up the track. After the Board adjourned,
at about noon, considerable excitement prevailed on the street on
account of a rumor that the Board had adjourned with the intention on
the part of the members of commencing the work in person. No such move
was made, however, and was probably not contemplated.
VALUABLE HORSE LOST.--On Monday afternoon a valuable horse belonging
to Beck & Ackley, of Eighth and J streets, became mired down in a mud
hole on Tenth street, between G and H. J. Kane, the drayman, attempted
to drive through a pool of mud and water, as other vehicles had been
passing through. The horse sunk down, and after making an effort or
two to get out of the hole, seemed to have injured himself in some
manner. All efforts to keep his head out of water were unsuccessful.
He died in about three minutes after falling.
THE CHAIN GANG.--The chain gang, under charge of Overseer Long, was
engaged yesterday in burying the carcases of dead cattle around the
outskirts of the city. They succeded in bagging some thirty head of
cows, horses, hogs, goats, etc. This morning they will commence the
work of draining off the water standing on Third street on the north
side of K, a point at which their services can be most advantageously
REMOVAL OF STOCK.--The steamer Visalia brought up yesterday afternoon,
from Duboise's ranch, nine miles below the city, on the Yolo side, some
twenty head of horses. The high water rendered their removal necessary.
The steamer Laura Ellen also brought down, for the same reason, a number
of horses and mules from Tilton and McHugh's ranches, eight or nine
miles above the city.
SNOW IN YOLO.--C. Heinrech, of Third and L streets, received a letter
yesterday from his ranch in Yolo county, near the foot hills, thirty
miles from the city, stating that the snow fell at that point twelve
inches deep, and that it was still lying on the ground, having melted
but little. There was six inches of snow twelve miles this side of
Cache creek canon. . . .
THE WEATHER.--The appearance of the sky and condition of the atmosphere
last evening, gave strong ground for the hope that we might be favored
with a little rain before long by way of variety. We may, however,
be disappointed.. Let nobody bet on it. . . .
FALLING.--The Sacramento river fell some four inches yesterday,
standing at sunset at twenty-one feet eight inches above low water mark. . . .
HEAVY RAIN IN SAN FRANCISCO.--Four inches of rain fell in San Francisco,
between twelve o'clock Saturday night, and nine o'clock Monday morning.
This beats Sacramento altogether. . . .
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.
TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 1862
The Board convened at 10 o'clock. Present--Shattuck, President, Granger,
Dickerson, Russell, Hite, Hall, Hansbrow, Woods and Waterman. . . .
Supervisor HITE, from the Committee on Roads, Ferries and Bridges,
stated that two individuals were prepared to take charge of the
bridging, etc. of certain streets, and would have their plans and
specifications ready to submit it to the Board on the following day. . . .
Supervisor GRANGER wanted information in regard to the proposed
action of the Committee on Roads, Ferries and Bridges, as alluded
to by Supervisor Hite.
Supervisor HITE explained that it was intended to let one individual
build a bridge over Sutter's Fort slough, at J street, and another
a bridge over the same slough at K street, the tolls being
appropriated to pay for the bridges, and keep the streets approaching
them in repair.
Supervisor WOODS was opposed to the plan of trusting private parties
to keep the streets of the city in repair. . . .
Supervisor GRANGER inquired if anything further had been done in
reference to the Rightmire bill.
Supervisor HANSBROW stated that he had called upon the Citizens'
Committee and endeavored to persuade them to indorse the action of
the Board in regard to the Rightmire claim, and use their efforts
to "turn in" the amount the Board proposed to pay. Judge Smith
and two other members of the Committee decidedly favored the
proposition, but Mr. Lightner, another member, opposed such action
upon general principles, and contended that the city was not bound
to pay Rightmire anything.
Mr. Rightmire, being present, was asked if he desired to be heard.
He said that he had waited until the time fixed by the Board, and
was forced to trust to the magnanimity of the Supervisors; but be
hoped that justice would be done to him.
The following communication, returning the Rightmire bill without
approval, was received from the Auditor:
AUDITOR'S OFFICE, }
SACRAMENTO, Jan. 4, 1861, }
To the President and Board of Supervisors: The within bill
is returned without approval. l am unable to find any law authorizing
the payment of money out of the City treasury unless for value
received; there is none expressed or implied in the within account,
and in justice to the tax payers. who will have to pay this amount if
allowed, I return the bill without my approval. Respectfully yours,
J. HOWELL, Auditor.
Supervisor HANSBROW moved that the objections of the Auditor be sustained.
Supervisor GRANGER did not see how the Board could sustain the objections
of the Auditor. What did the public want? Certainly the improvement
which Mr. Rightmire had contracted to construct had been demanded by
the community, and the Board had only performed its duty in making the
contract. Did the people desire that the Board should contract for
improvements and then repudiate? He could never sanction such a course
while he considered himself an honorable man.
Supervisor DICKERSON would not sustaln the Auditor's objectlons. He
thought the claim of Mr. Rightmire entirely fair and just, and one
that ought to be settled without further delay. Supervisor Russell
said that in seconding the motion to sustain the objections of the
Auditor, he did not propose to repudiate. He wanted the obligation
met in a different way, to wit: by obtaining a Special Act of the
Supervisor HITE would not sustain the objections of the Auditor.
He had given his word that Mr. Rightmire, who had taken a contract
to do a necessary work when nobody else would take it, should be
paid, and he considered himself honorably bound to vote for the
claim. The People's Safety Committee was a Quixotic concern, which
would probably undertake to turn the channel of the American river.
The speaker would not be guided by their action.
Supervisor HANSBROW thought that Rightmire would get his money much
sooner through an application to the Legislature than by any action
of the Board. There was no doubt whatever of the illegality of the
action of the Board, and hundreds of citizens were ready to obtain
an injunction to prevent the payment of the bill.
On the question "Shall the objections of the Auditor be sustained?"
the ayes and noes were called with the following result:
Ayes--Russell, Hansbrow, Woods, and Waterman--4.
Noes--Granger, Dickerson, Hite, Hall, and Shattuck, President--5.
As a two-thirds vote is required to overrule the action of the
Auditor, the objections of that functionary were declared to be
President SHATTUCK stated that he had not pledged himself
to sustain Rightmire, but he was positive that every member of the
Board had done so, previous to Rightmire's going to San Francisco
for bills and vouchers.
Supervisor WOODS explained that he was perfectly willing that Rightmire
should be paid in a legal way, but he would not vote to pay four for one.
Supervisor HITE said that every day the Board paid four for one in the
purchase of articles required.
Supervisor RUSSELL, as a member of the Committee on Finance, said that
a considerable margin was allowed, but not quite four dollars for one. . . .
On motion of Supervisor DICKERSON, a license was granted to G. W. Colby
for a ferry on L street.
Supervisor HITE called attention to the fact that the steamers passing
the city were washing away the levee by maintaining an undue rate of speed.
Supervisor GRANGER said that the old ordinance regulating the rate of
speed had not been effectual since consolidation.
Supervisor HITE gave notlce that he would introduce an ordinance to the
same effect at the next meeting of the Board.
Mr. RIGHTMIRE now said that since the action of the Auditor in regard to
his claim had been sustained, he would commence an action against every
member of the Board. Every member had assumed the debt and made himself
personally responsible. He would not act out of any feeling against the
members, because he considered them all his friends and had a respect
for them, but simply to protect himself.
Supervisor HITE thought that Mr. Rightmire would be perfectly justified
in pursuing such a course, even if every Supervisor found himself in
Supervisor HANSBROW said that he believed every member had voted
understandingly, and that no one was inclined to change his course
under a threat. He thought the idea of making the members individually
responsible for the debt was supremely ridiculous. Mr. Rightmire would
doubtless change his purpose.
On motion, the Board adjourned to meet at ten o'clock this morning. . . .
RAIN AND SNOW SOUTH.--In Sonora, it rained all day on Friday,
January 3d, aad snowed hard all night.
NEVADA.--Ice formed in this town, January 2d and 3d, of the
thickness of half an inch. . . .
THE ROADS IN THE INTERIOR.--S. A. Merritt arrived on Saturday evening,
January 4th, from Mariposa. He was five days making the trip, the roads
being in a horrible condition. Part of the journey he had to make
behind an ox team; twice he had to hire a team, the stage communication
having been stopped; and at another time he had to walk a considerable
distance.--S. F. Herald.
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 22, Number 3364, 9 January 1862, p. 1
. . .
LOGS LOST.--At the Albion river, Mendocino county, during the late freshet,
the boom was carried away, and logs to the value of $30,000 were lost.
NEWS OF THE MORNING.
Early last evening, while the wires of the Overland Telegraph were
working, we were promised dispatches from the East. But the reception
of private dispatches was continued until a late hour, and then we
were informed that news could not be received. The heavy gale probably
deranged the wires. At this particular juncture there is great anxiety
to hear from the seat of war, as the culmination of the contest is
believed to have arrived.
The telegraphic wires between this city and San Francisco were not
in working order last evening. . . .
At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors held yesterday, an ordinance
was passed fixing the rate of speed for steamers passing the city.
This is designed to prevent the washing away of the levees. The rate
is fixed by the ordinance at five miles per hour. A resolution was
adopted providing for the employment of counsel to bring the issue
between the city and tbe Sacramento Valley Railroad Company before
the legal tribunals. An ordinance was adopted fixing the grade of
certain streets. This is substantially the same ordinance which was
brought before the Board in November last by Supervisor Hite. A
resolution, explaining that the ordinance was not intended to affect
buildings already erected, except where three-fourths of the property
owners in a block request it, was also passed. . . .
The rivers continued to fall yesterday, though it was rainy and
unfavorable. At different points in the interior they have had
chilly rains or snow. . . .
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
The Storm in the Interior
MARYSVILLE, Jan. 8th.
It has rained here at intervals all day and still continues, but it is
not falling very fast tonight. It is very windy and cool.
OROVILLE, Jan. 8th.
It has rained hard here all day, and the rain continues unabated.
CHICO, Jan. 8th.
It has been raining hard here all day, and continues at the same rate.
The streams are all rising rapidly. .
PLACERVILLE, Jan. 8th.
It has been raining hard here all the afternoon. It is raining in the
mountains as far up aa Strawberry, which will melt the snow in that
vicinity. The streams are filling here.
CARSON CITY, Jan. 8th.
It is raining hard and blowing a gale in this valley. . . .
SACRAMENTO.--Our cotemporaries of the interior generally have had a
favorable word to say of the State Capital and its late misfortune.
The Red Bluff Beacon, among others, has the following :
We had intended to write an article concerning the State Capital,
giving the paper goss [?] that said that the seat of government
should not be permanently located where the town was liable to
suffer from overflows. But every editor in the State, we believe,
has given the subject an article, and besides we have been unable
to even find out what paper it was that is so down on Sacramento
as the Capital, now that she has suffered from an overflow.
Sacramento has too much capital, energy and enterprise ever to
be kept down by such a trivial cause as an overflow.
The Yreka Journal adds:
Notwithstanding the damages of flood at Sacramento, there is no more
convenient interior point in the Sacramento valley, nor one less subject
to floods, in the right spot. The new building, however, should be
built high, with a strong plateau walled around, so that the walla
of the building will be clear from water in the future.
The Shasta Courier remarks:
The people of the State of California deeply sympathize with the
Sacramentans, in relation to the untoward disasters with which they
have been afflicted, and which to a people less energetic than they
are known to be, would be absolutely crushing. The city can be saved
from future inundations, and it is the fixed opinion of their
neighbors that it will be done thoroughly and at once. . . .
CORONER'S INQUEST.--Coroner Reeves held an inquest yesterday on the
body of an unknown Chinaman found in the American river above Norris'
bridge. The body was found on Tuesday, floating on the north side of
the river, by Isaac Watson and several other men in a boat. The Coroner
had it brought across the river to Brighton. G. W. Parkison, M. C. Reed,
S. F. Weaver, T. B. Burnes, H. E. Judson and C. Eshnaur were impanneled
as a jury. The only witness examined was Watson, who stated that the
body was made secure, and no examination of it was made until the
Coroner arrived. It was in a nude condition, having a string tied
around the waist. There were several marks and bruises about the head
and face of the deceased, who appeared to have been about sixty years
of age. The bruises may have been caused by floating against driftwood.
The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the cause of death was
unknown to the jury, but that deceased was probably drowned. . . .
TO BE REPAIRED.--The Committee of Safety, at a meeting held yesterday,
decided to lay down and put in order the street crossings on the line
of Eighth street, between the Capitol at Seventh and I streets, and
the residence of Governor Stanford, at Eighth and N streets. As the
office of the Governor will be located at his place of residence,
these repairs are rendered indispensable. The Committee expect the
property owners on the line to repair their sidewalks as far as
practicable. . . .
A SUCCESSFUL JOB.--The chain gang, under the direction of Overseers
Dreman and Long, dug a ditch yesterday on the north side of K street
from Third street to the drain which crosses K street in the middle
of the block. The result was to carry off the water which has stood
for several weeks at the corner, to the great inconvenience of teams,
foot passengers and property owners in the neighborhood. . . .
THE LEVEE.--Workmen were engaged during Tuesday and yesterday forenoon
at two points on the American river, east of the tannery, repairing
the levee. The rain of yesterday rendered work in the afternoon
impracticable. . . .
THE FLOOD IN MARIPOSA.--Scarcely any portion of the State was exempt
from damage by the late floods. The Mariposa Gazette of December 31st says:
Property has been damaged along the Merced to an amount not dreamed of
by men who have for long time lived in the localities. Commencing at
the Benton Mills, it damaged their works to a considerable extent,
though the dam stood the pressure asd the loss is comparatively
trifling. Wyatt's bridge was then wiped out--then everything at
Split Rock Ferry--then everything below, including Chapin's dam
and mill, a structure which probably cost in the neighborhood of
$100,000. Below that, at Merced Falls, Murray's and Nelson's bridges
went by the board, together with two fine flour mills, belonging
to the same gentlemen. We have no means at hand for computing the
losses of those who suffered from the flood, but should judge that
$300,000 would hardly cover them. . . .
THE RIVER.--The Sacramento fell some eight inches yesterday, standing
at sunset at about twenty-one feet above low water mark.
MORE OF IT.--We were visited yesterday by more rain, and last evening
by another violent gale of wind.
[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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