San Francisco History
 

Mark Twain in San Francisco


The following news articles by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) were printed in the San Francisco Daily Morning Call between June and October 1864.

The following excerpts are used by gracious permission of Barbara Schmidt of www.twainquotes.com. Take a look at her site for more material from Mark Twain from all over the world.


Burglar Arrested

John Richardson, whose taste for a cigar must be inordinate, gratified it on Saturday night last by forcing his way into a tobacconist's on Broadway, near Kearny street, and helping himself to fourteen hundred "smokes." In his hurry, however, he did not select the best, as the stolen tobacco was only valued at fifty dollars. He was congratulating himself last evening in a saloon on Dupont street, in having secured weeds for himself and all his friends, when lo! a Rose bloomed before his eyes, and he wilted. The scent of that flower of detectives was too strong even for the aroma of the stolen cigars. Richardson was conveyed to the station-house, where a kit of neat burglar's tools was found on his person. He is now reposing his limbs on an asphaltum floor - a bed hard as the ways of unrighteousness.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 7 June 1864.


Another Chapter In The Marks Family History

Samuel Marks had Dora Marks and Henry Wood before the Police Court yesterday, charged with assault and battery. The plaintiff said that Dora and Henry came into his shop, on Washington street, last Tuesday, and, without saying a word as to how they came there, knocked him into a senseless condition by blows on his head. Henry testified that he saw the fair Dora enter Samuel's shop, and shortly after he heard a clatter as if heaven and earth were bumping together, and running down to Samuel's doorway, and standing by the door-sill because he had no right to enter the premises, he saw Samuel hit the lamb-like Dora a slap on the sconce with a tailor's press board, and instantly after a huge pair of shears came flying at him. Before he could dodge them, they partially scalped his cranium, causing a plentiful flow of the ruby, and he thought that he had better prospect in other diggings, not so dangerous, and left. The meek and war-worn Dora sat like a penitent Magdalen, and had nary word to say, and the austere decision of the Judge was that the respective defendants, Henry and Dora, do appear in that Court this day, and receive sentence for their crimes.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 11 June 1864.


Petty Police Court Transactions

It is surprising to notice what trifling, picayune cases are frequently brought before the Police Judge by parties who conceive that their honor has been attacked, a gross outrage committed on their person or reputation, and they must have justice "though the heavens fall." Distinguished counsel are employed, witnesses are summoned and made to dance attendance to the successive steps of the complaints, and the patience of the Judge and Reporters is severely tested by the time occupied in their investigation which, after a close examination of witnesses, cross-questioning by the counsel, and perhaps some brilliant peroration at the close, with the especial injunction to the Court that it were better that ten guilty men should escape punishment rather than one innocent (one eye obliquely winking to their client) person should suffer; with a long breath of satisfaction that the agony is over about a hair pulling case, a lost spoon or a broken window, the Judge dismisses the case, and, (if we must say it) the lawyers pocket their fees, and the client pockets his or her indignation that the defendant escaped the punishment which to their view was so richly deserved. Thus, yesterday, William Towerick, a deaf old man, complained that a woman struck him with a basket, on Mission street. The good looking German interpreter almost woke up the dead in his efforts to shout in the plaintiff's auricular appendage the respective questions propounded by counsel, but had eventually to give it up as a bad job and let the old lady the plaintiff's wife, try. Case dismissed. Then comes another complainant with a long chapter of grievances against one Rosa Bustamente, who didn't like her little poodle dog. Bad words from both parties and a flower pot thrown at somebody, bursting five panes of glass valued at twenty-five cents each. Court considered that plaintiff and defendant stood on nearly equal footing, and ordered the case dismissed.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 15 June 1864.


Another Of Them

At five minutes to nine o'clock last night, San Francisco was favored by another earthquake. There were three distinct shocks, two of which were very heavy, and appeared to have been done on purpose, but the third did not amount to much. Heretofore our earthquakes - as all old citizens experienced in this sort of thing will recollect - have been distinguished by a soothing kind of undulating motion, like the roll of waves on the sea, but we are happy to state that they are shaking her up from below now. The shocks last night came straight up from that direction; and it is sad to reflect, in these spiritual times, that they might possibly have been freighted with urgent messages from some of our departed friends. The suggestion is worthy a moment's serious reflection, at any rate.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 23 June 1864.


A Trip To The Cliff House

If one tire of the drudgeries and scenes of the city, and would breathe the fresh air of the sea, let him take the cars and omnibuses, or, better still, a buggy and pleasant steed, and, ere the sea breeze sets in, glide out to the Cliff House. We tried it a day or two since. Out along the rail road track, by the pleasant homes of our citizens, where architecture begins to put off its swaddling clothes, and assume form and style, grace and beauty, by the neat gardens with their green shrubbery and laughing flowers, out where were once sand hills and sand-valleys, now streets and homesteads. If you would doubly enjoy pure air, first pass along by Mission Street Bridge, the Golgotha of Butcherville, and wind along through the alleys where stand the whiskey mills and grunt the piggeries of "Uncle Jim." Breathe and inhale deeply ere you reach this castle of Udolpho, and then hold your breath as long as possible, for Arabia is a long way thence, and the balm of a thousand flowers is not for sale in that locality. Then away you go over paved, or planked, or Macadamized roads, out to the cities of the dead, pass between Lone Mountain and Calvary, and make a straight due west course for the ocean. Along the way are many things to please and entertain, especially if an intelligent chaperon accompany you. Your eye will travel over in every direction the vast territory which Swain, Weaver & Co. desire to fence in, the little homesteads by the way, Dr. Rowell's arena castle, and Zeke Wilson's Bleak House in the sand. Splendid road, ocean air that swells the lungs and strengthens the limbs. Then there's the Cliff House, perched on the very brink of the ocean, like a castle by the Rhine, with countless sea-lions rolling their unwieldy bulks on the rocks within rifle-shot, or plunging into and sculling about in the foaming waters. Steamers and sailing craft are passing, wild fowl scream, and sea-lions growl and bark, the waves roll into breakers, foam and spray, for five miles along the beach, beautiful and grand, and one feels as if at sea with no rolling motion nor sea-sickness, and the appetite is whetted by the drive and the breeze, the ocean's presence wins you into a happy frame, and you can eat one of the best dinners with the hungry relish of an ostrich. Go to the Cliff House. Go ere the winds get too fresh, and if you like, you may come back by Mountain Lake and the Presidio, overlook the Fort, and bow to the Stars and Stripes as you pass.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 June 1864.


Charge Against A Police Officer

William H. Winans made a complaint in the Police Court, yesterday, against officer Forner, for assault and battery. From the testimony it appeared that Forner had had an arrest of two persons and then delivered them to the care of another officer. While the latter officer was taking the men to the Station house, the plaintiff went up to one of the prisoners to speak to him concerning his bail, when, as he alleges, Forner took him by the collar, pushed him away, and struck him. The Judge remarked that officers must not go beyond the law in the discharge of their duties. It was not unfrequently the case that they displayed abundant zeal concerning arrests that were wholly unjustifiable, alluding more particularly to their making arrests without a warrant, on the mere say-so of outside parties. They must either be an actual witness of the offence or make an arrest by a warrant specially issued for the purpose. After Forner had delivered his prisoners to another officer his control over them ceased, and he had no right to exercise the conduct alleged against him, and it should require him to appear to-day for sentence.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 June 1864.


Charges Against An Officer

Lewis P. Ward prefers the following charges against Officer Forner, and Judge Shepheard has issued subpoenas for the witnesses: Using unnecessary violence in making an arrest; making the arrest without authority, (without a warrant and merely upon the say-so of an interested party); maltreating two private citizens where there was no call for such conduct on his part; and being off his beat and drinking in the "Flag" Saloon, when he should have been at his post. The Board of Police Commissioners will take the matter into consideration on Thursday afternoon at two o'clock. These charges are of a grave character, and will receive the strict examination to which their importance entitles them.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 28 June 1864.


Missionaries Wanted For San Francisco

We do not like it, as far as we have got. We shall probably not fall so deeply in love with reporting for a San Francisco paper as to make it impossible ever to wean us from it. There is a powerful saving-clause for us in the fact that the conservators of public information - the persons whose positions afford them opportunities not enjoyed by others to keep themselves posted concerning the important events of the city's daily life - do not appear to know anything. At the offices and places of business we have visited in search of information, we have got it in just the same shape every time, with a promptness and uniformity which is startling, perhaps, but not gratifying. They all answer and say unto you, "I don't know." We do not mind that, so much, but we do object to a man's parading his ignorance with an air of overbearing egotism which shows you that he is proud of it. True merit is modest, and why should not true ignorance be? In most cases, the head of the concern is not at home; but then why not pay better wages and leave men at the counter who would not be above knowing something? Judging by the frills they put on - the sad but infallible accompaniment of forty dollars a year and found - these fellows are satisfied they are not paid enough to make it an object to know what is going on around them, or to state that their crop of information has failed, this century, without doing it with an exaggeration of dignity altogether disproportioned to the importance of the thing. In Washoe, if a man don't know anything, he will at least go on and tell you what he don't know, so that you can publish it in case you do not stumble upon something of more vital interest to the community, in the course of the day. If a similar course were pursued here, we might always have something to write about - and occasionally a column or so left over for next day's issue, perhaps.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 28 June 1864.


The Kahn Of Tartary

Lena Kahn, otherwise known as Mother Kahn, or the Kahn of Tartary, who is famous in this community for her infatuated partiality for the Police Court as a place of recreation, was on hand there again yesterday morning. She was mixed up in a triangular row, the sides of the triangle being Mr. Oppenheim, Mrs. Oppenheim, and herself. It appeared from the evidence that she formed the base of the triangle - which is to say, she was at the bottom of the row, and struck the first blow. Moses Levi, being sworn, said he was in the neighborhood, and heard Mrs. Oppenheim scream; knew it was her by the vicious expression she always threw into her screams; saw the defendant (her husband) go into the Tartar's house and gobble up the partner of his bosom and his business, and rescue her from the jaws of destruction (meaning Mrs. Kahn,) and bring her forth to sport once more amid the . At this point the lawyer turned off Mr. Levi's gas, which seemed to be degenerating into poetry, and asked him what his occupation was? The Levite said he drove an express wagon. The lawyer - with that sensitiveness to the slightest infringement of the truth, which is so be coming to the profession - inquired severely if he did not sometimes drive the horse also! The wretched witness, thus detected before the multitude in his deep-laid and subtle prevarication, hung his head in silence. His evidence could no longer be respected, and he moved away from the stand with the consciousness written upon his countenance of how fearful a thing it is to trifle with the scruples of a lawyer. Mrs. Oppenheim next came forward and gave a portion of her testimony in damaged English, and the balance in dark and mysterious German. In the English glimpses of her story it was discernible that she had innocently trespassed upon the domain of the Khan, and had been rudely seized upon in such a manner as to make her arm turn blue, (she turned up her sleeve and showed the Judge,) and the bruise had grown worse since that day, until at last it was tinged with a ghastly green, (she turned up her sleeve again for impartial judicial inspection,) and instantly after receiving this affront, so humiliating to one of gentle blood, she had been set upon without cause or provocation, and thrown upon the floor and "licked." This last expression possessed a charm for Mrs. Oppenheim, that no persuasion of Judge or lawyers could induce her to forego, even for the sake of bringing her wrongs into a stronger light, so long as those wrongs, in such an event, must be portrayed in language less pleasant to her ear. She said the Khan had licked her, and she stuck to it and reiterated with unflinching firmness. Becoming confused by repeated assaults from the lawyers in the way of badgering questions, which her wavering senses could no longer comprehend, she relapsed at last into hopeless German again, and retired within the lines. Mr. Oppenheim then came forward and remained under fire for fifteen minutes, during which time he made it as plain as the disabled condition of his English would permit him to do, that he was not in anywise to blame, at any rate; that his wife went out after a warrant for the arrest of the Kahn; that she stopped to "make it up" with the Kahn, and the redoubtable Kahn tackled her; that he was dry-nursing the baby at the time, and when he heard his wife scream, he suspected, with a sagacity which did him credit, that she wouldn't have "hollered 'dout dere vas someding de matter;" therefore he piled the child up in a corner remote from danger, and moved upon the works of the Tartar; she had waltzed into the wife and finished her, and was already on picket duty, waiting for the husband, and when he came she smacked him over the head a couple of times with the deadly bludgeon she uses to elevate linen to the clothes-line with; and then, stimulated by this encouragement, he started to the Police Office to get out a warrant for the arrest of the victorious army, but the victorious army, always on the alert, was there ahead of him, and he now stood in the presence of the Court in the humiliating position of a man who had aspired to be plaintiff, but overcome by strategy, had sunk to the grade of defendant. At this point his mind wandered, his vivacious tongue grew thick with mushy German syllables, and the last of the Oppenheims sank to rest at the feet of justice. We had done less than our duty had we allowed this most important trial - freighted, as it was, with matters of the last importance to every member of this community, and every conscientious, law-abiding man and woman upon whom the sun of civilization shines to-day - to be given to the world in the columns, with no more elaboration than the customary "Benjamin Oppenheim, assault and battery, dismissed; Lena Oppenheim and Fredrika Kahn, held to answer." We thought, at first, of starting in that way, under the head of "Police Court," but a second glance at the case showed us that it was one of a most serious and extraordinary nature, and ought to be put in such a shape that the public could give to it that grave and deliberate consideration which its magnitude entitled it to.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 29 June 1864.


House At Large

An old two-story, sheet-iron, pioneer, fire-proof house, got loose from her moorings last night, and drifted down Sutter street, toward Montgomery. We are not informed as to where she came from or where she was going to - she had halted near Montgomery street, and appeared to be studying about it. If one might judge from the expression that hung about her dilapidated front and desolate window, she was thoroughly demoralized when she stopped there, and sorry she ever started. Is there no law against houses loafing around the public streets at midnight?

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 1 July 1864.


Schoolchildren's Rehearsal

The pupils of the Public Schools assembled in strong force at the Metropolitan Theatre yesterday afternoon, to rehearse their portion of the Fourth of July ceremonies. The dress-circle was a swarming hive of small boys in an advanced state of holiday jollity, and the parquet was filled with young girls impatient for the performance to begin. There were but fourteen benches left vacant in the pit, and three in the dress circle. At the call to order by Mr. Elliott, a solemn silence succeeded the buzzing that had prevailed all over the house. He announced that one School was still absent, but it was too late to wait for its arrival. The pupils, led by the orchestra, then sang a beautiful chant - "The Lord's Prayer" - the girls doing the best service, the boys taking only a moderate amount of interest in it. However, the boys came out strong on the next chorus - "The Battle Cry of Freedom." Without prompting, the voices of the children broke forth with one accord the moment the orchestra had finished playing the symphony, which was pretty good proof that the pupils of all the Schools are accustomed to strict discipline. The next song - "The Union" - was sung with thrilling effect, and was entered into by both boys and girls, with a spirit which showed that it was a favorite with them. It deserved to be, for it had more music in it than any tune which had preceded it. "Oh, Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys," was sung by the girls, and the boys joined in the chorus. It is a lugubrious ditty, and sadness oozed from its every pore. There was a pardonable lack of enthusiasm evinced in its execution. "America" (applause from the boys) was sung next, with extraordinary vim. The exercises were closed with this hymn, and the Schools then left the theatre and departed for home. Just as the rear rank was passing out at the door, the missing School - the lost tribe - came filing down the street, moved two abreast into the theatre without halting, and took possession of the stage. It proved to be the Rincon School, so distinguished for the numerous promotions from its ranks to the High School. The large stage was almost filled by the newcomers, and had they arrived sooner there would not have been a vacant seat in the house. The lost tribe rehearsed the songs in regular order, just as their predecessors had done, and did it in an entirely creditable manner, after which they marched in procession up Montgomery to Market street. Even if everything else fails on the Fourth, we are satisfied that the Public Schools can be depended on to carry out their part of the programme faithfully and in the best possible style. The Schools will assemble at the Metropolitan Theatre about noon on the Fourth, where, in addition to their singing, the following exercises may be expected: Music, by the band; Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Kittredge; Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by W. H. L. Barnes; Poem, by Mr. Bowman; Oration, by the Rev. H. W. Bellows.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 1 July 1864.


The Old Thing

We conversed yesterday with a stranger, who had suffered from a game familiar to some San Franciscans, but unknown in his section of the country. He was going home late at night, when a sociable young man, standing alone on the sidewalk, bade him good evening in a friendly way, and asked him to take a drink, with a fascination of manner which he could not resist. They went into Johnson's saloon, on Pike street, but instead of paying promptly for the drinks, the sociable young man proposed to throw the dice for them, which was done, and the stranger who was a merchant, from the country, lost. Euchre was then proposed, and two disinterested spectators, entirely unknown to the sociable young man - as he said - were invited to join the game, and did so. Shortly afterwards, good hands were discovered to be plenty around the board, and it was proposed to bet on them, and turn the game into poker. The merchant held four kings, and he called a ten dollar bet; but the luck that sociable young man had was astonishing - he held four aces! This made the merchant suspicious - he says and it was a pity his sagacity was not still more extraordinary - it was a pity it did not warn him that it was time to quit that crowd. But it had no such effect; the sociable man showed him a check on Wells, Fargo &; Co., and he thought it was safe to "stake" him; therefore he staked his friend, and continued to stake him, and his friend played and lost, and continued to play and lose, until one hundred and ninety dollars were gone, and he nothing more left wherewith to stake him. The merchant complained to the Police, yesterday, and officer McCormick hunted up the destroyer of his peace and the buster of his fortune, and arrested him. He gave his name as Wellington, but the Police have known him well heretofore as "Injun Ned ;" he told the merchant his name was J. G. Whittaker. Wellington Whittaker deserves to be severely punished, but perhaps the merchant ought to be allowed to go free, as this was his first offence in being so criminally green.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 1 July 1864.


Police Commissioners

Lewis P. Ward brought several charges against Policeman Forner, yesterday, before the Board of Police Commissioners. One was for maltreating two citizens who were not under arrest, and whom he had no business to lay his hands on anyhow. This charge was summarily dismissed; the offence involved being one of no consequence, as any one can see. Still, the Board might have thought the officer sufficiently punished for it already in the Police Court, where he was fined five dollars, which he paid in green-backs, if he is a loyal man. The second charge was for arresting a man without any authority for doing it. This was also dismissed - for good and sufficient reasons, maybe - but anyhow it was dismissed. The third charge against Officer Forner was for being off his beat when he should have been on it, instead of drinking in the "Flag" saloon. Several witnesses substantiated this charge, and we are informed that no evidence was produced against it. The Commissioners took it into consideration, and will render a decision in the matter shortly, perhaps.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 1 July 1864.


Original Novelette

The only drawback there is to the following original novelette, is, that it contains nothing but truth, and must, therefore, be void of interest for readers of sensational fiction. The gentleman who stated the case to us said there was a moral to it, but up to the present moment we have not been able to find it. There is nothing moral about it. Chapter I. - About a year ago, a German in the States sent his wife to California to prepare the way, and get things fixed up ready for him. Chapter II. - She did it. She fixed things up, considerably. She fell in with a German who had been sent out here by his wife to prepare the way for her. Chapter III. - These two fixed every thing up in such a way for their partners at home, that they could not fail to find it interesting to them whenever they might choose to arrive. The man borrowed all the money the woman had, and went into business, and the two lived happily and sinfully together for a season. Chapter IV. - Grand Tableau. The man's wife arrived unexpectedly in the Golden Age, and busted out the whole arrangement. Chapter V. - Now at this day the fallen heroine of this history is stricken with grief and refuses to be comforted; she has been cruelly turned out of the house by the usurping, lawful wife, and set adrift upon the wide, wide world, without a rudder. But she doesn't mind that so much, because she never had any rudder, anyhow. The noble maiden does mind being adrift, though, rudder or no rudder, because she has never been used to it. And so, all the day sits she sadly in the highway, weeping and blowing her nose, and slinging the result on the startled passers-by, and care less whether she lives or dies, now that her bruised heart can never know aught but sorrow anymore. Last Chapter. - She cannot go to law to get her property back, because her sensitive nature revolts at the thought of giving publicity to her melancholy story. Neither can she return to her old home and fall at the feet of the husband of her early love, praying him to forgive, and bless and board her again, as he was wont to do in happier days; because when her destroyer shook her, behold he shook her without a cent. Now what is she to do? She wants to know. We have stated the case, and the thrilling original novelette is finished, and is not to be continued. But as to the moral, a rare chance is here offered the public to sift around and find it. We failed, in consequence of the very immoral character of the whole proceeding. Perhaps the best moral would be for the woman to go to work with renewed energy, and fix things, and get ready over again for her husband.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 4 July 1864.


Fourth Of July

GRAND PROCESSION, FIREWORKS, ETC. - In point of magnificence, enthusiasm, crowds, noise, wind and dust, the Fourth was the most remarkable day San Francisco has ever seen. The National salute fired at daylight, by the California Guard, awoke the city, and by eight o'clock in the morning the sidewalks of all the principal streets were packed with men, women and children, and remained so until far into the afternoon. All able-bodied citizens were abroad, all cripples with one sound leg and a crutch and all invalids who were not ticketed for eternity on that particular day. The whole city was swathed in a waving drapery of flags - scarcely a house could be found which lacked this kind of decoration. The effect was exceedingly lively and beautiful. Of course Montgomery street excelled in this species of embellishment. To the spectator beholding it from any point above Pacific street, it was no longer a street of compactly built houses, but simply a quivering cloud of gaudy red and white stripes, which shut out from view almost everything but itself. Some houses were broken out all over with flags, like small-pox patients; among these were Brannan's Building, the Occidental Hotel and the Lick House, which displayed flags at every window.

THE PROCESSION. - The chief feature of the day was the great Procession, of course, and to the strategic ability and the tireless energy and industry of Grand Marshal Sheldon, San Francisco is indebted for the completeness and well ordered character of the splendid spectacle. He performed the great work assigned him in a manner which entitles him to the very highest credit.

Toward ten o'clock the streets began to be thronged with platoons, companies and regiments of schools, soldiers, benevolent associations, etc., swarming from every point of the compass, and marching with music and banners toward the general rendezvous, like the gathering hosts of a mighty army. By eleven the Procession was formed and began to move, and in half an hour it was drifting past Portsmouth Square, rank after rank, and column after column, in seemingly countless numbers. Afterwards (on level ground) it was an hour and twenty minutes in passing a given point; coming down hill, through Washington street, the time was an hour and five minutes; therefore the Procession must have been two miles long at any rate, unless those composing it were remarkably slow walkers; many adjudged it to be over two and a half miles in length.

GRAND MARSHAL AND AIDS. - The Grand Marshal, in purple sash, studded with stars, led the van, attended by thirteen Aids, in white and gold....

The military presented a fine appearance, with their handsome uniforms and brightly burnished arms. They were sufficiently numerous to occupy thirteen minutes in passing a given point.

A squad of twelve or fifteen little drummer boys, in uniform, accompanying the Sixth Regiment, attracted a good deal of attention.

In the military part of the procession, borne by the First Regiment, was a stained and ragged flag, pierced by nine bullet-holes and one bayonet-thrust, received at the bloody battle of Ball's Bluff. It was carried by Corporal Wise, who fought under it there.

CIVIL DEPARTMENT. - The civil department of the Procession was headed by carriages containing the President, Orator, Chaplain, Poet, and Reader of the Day, foreign Consuls, and foreign and domestic naval and military guests, in splendid uniforms, as a general thing. Following these came State, city and county officers, also in carriages.

The Society of California Pioneers and the Eureka Typographical Union were followed by a number of tradesmen's wagons, tastefully ornamented and bearing appropriate mottoes and devices.

The San Francisco Fire Department came next, headed by Chief Engineer Scannell and his Aids. . . .

The Butchers' Union Association came next, headed by a wagon containing a huge living buffalo, and followed by several gaily caparisoned fat cattle; following these was a soldierly platoon of infantry butchers, armed with cleavers, who were observed to obey the solitary command to "Shoulder arms!" with military precision and promptness. They were followed by about twenty open wagons, filled with members of the fraternity. One of these wagons bore the motto, "We Kill to Cure !"

After a glue factory wagon, bearing the motto, "We stick fast to the Union," came seven more butchers' wagons, followed by a fine array of mounted butchers, riding three abreast. The uniform of the fraternity was check shirts and black pantaloons, and it was distinguished in the civil department of the Procession for its exceeding neatness.

The Cartmen's Union Association, riding two abreast, in blue shirts and black pants - a stalwart, fine looking body of men, came next in the Procession, and rode with the Draymen and Teamsters' Associations. A fine regiment or so of cavalry might be constructed out of these materials.

SCHOOLS. - One of the most notable features of the great Procession was the public schools. The boys are all accustomed to military discipline, and they marched along with the order and decorum of old soldiers. Each school had its uniform, its own private music, and its multitude of flags and banners, and in the matter of numbers and general magnificence they did not fall much behind the Army of California at the other end of the Procession. There were twelve schools in the ranks . . .

Some of the mottoes inscribed upon the banners borne by the School children were as follows: "Knowledge is Power ;" a globe, with the device, "We move the World;" "Children of the Union;" "We are Coming, Father Abraham;" "Our Public Schools, the Lever that moves the World - Give us more Leverage!" The Mason Street School carried silken banners, upon which were painted the arms of all the States. The boys of Rincon School, three hundred in number, were dressed in a sort of naval uniform, (two gold bands around their caps, and a gold stripe down the leg of their pants,) and each boy carried a flag. The girls of the Rincon School, numbering three hundred also, left the School in eight large furniture cars, but we saw only a few of these cars in the Procession. A pretty little girl in the first car was gorgeously costumed as the Goddess of Liberty. A beautiful banner, presented to the School early in the morning, was carried by the girls, and bore the suggestive inscription, "Our Country's Hope," (in case she becomes depopulated by the war, probably.)

BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES. - In uniform, and carrying flags and banners, were a long array of Benevolent and Protective Associations . . .

After these followed numberless carriages, containing citizens, and in their wake came the rear guard of citizens on foot, which finished up the almost interminable Procession.

AT THE THEATRE. - After marching through the several streets marked down for it in the programme, the Procession filed down Montgomery street, and disbanded in the vicinity of the Metropolitan Theatre, where the concluding ceremonies of the celebration were to take place.

The Schools were admitted to the theatre first, and a sufficient number were taken from the multitude of citizens outside to fill up the room left vacant - which was not much, of course. The place was so densely packed that we could not find comfortable standing or breathing room, and left, taking it for granted that the following programme would be carried out all the same, and just as well as if we remained:

National Airs by the Bands.
Chant, the Lord's Prayer, by the Children of the Public Schools.
Prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Kittredge.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence, by W. H. L. Barnes, Esq.
"The Battle-Cry of Freedom," by the Children of the Public Schools.
Poem, by J. F. Bowman.
"The Union," by Children of the Public Schools.
Oration, by the Rev. H. W. Bellows.
"O wrap the flag around me, boys," by Children.
"America," by the Children.
Benediction.

THE FIREWORKS. - The huge framework for the pyrotechnic display was set up at the corner of Fifth and Harrison streets, and by the time the first rocket was discharged, every vacant foot of ground for many a square around was closely crowded with people. There could not have been less than fifteen thousand persons stretching their necks in that vicinity for a glimpse of the show, and certainly not more than thirteen thousand of them failed to see it. The spot was so well chosen, on such nice level ground, that if your stature were six feet one, a trifling dwarf with a plug hat on could step before you and shut you out from the exhibition, as if you were stricken with a sudden blindness. Carriages, which no man might hope to see through, were apt to drive along and stop just ahead of you, at the most interesting moment, and if you changed your position men would obstruct your vision by climbing on each others' shoulders. The grand discharges of rockets, however, and their bursting spray of many-colored sparks, were visible to all, after they had reached a tremendous altitude, and these gave pleasure and brought solace to many a sorrowing heart behind many an untransparent vehicle. Still we know that the fireworks on the night of the Fourth, mottoes, temples, stars, triangles, Catherine wheels, towers, pyramids, and, in fact, every department of the exhibition, formed by far the most magnificent spectacle of the kind ever witnessed on the Pacific coast. The reason why we know it is, that that infamous, endless, Irish giant, at Gilbert's Museum, stood exactly in front of us the whole evening, and he said so.

A number of balls and parties and a terrific cannonade of fire crackers, kept up all night long, finished the festivities of this memorable Fourth of July in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 6 July 1864.


Swill Music

As a general thing, when we visit the City Prison late at night, we find one or two drunken vagabonds raving and cursing in the cells, and sending out a pestilent odor of bad whiskey with every execration. Last night the case was different. Mrs. Ann Holland was there, very drunk, and very musical; her gin was passing off in steaming gas, to the tune of "I'll hang my harp on a willow tree," and she appeared to be enjoying it considerably. The effect was very cheerful in a place so accustomed to powerful swearing and mute wretchedness. Mrs. Holland's music was touchingly plaintive and beautiful, too; but then it smelled bad.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 8, 1864


Arrested For Bigamy

Isaac Hingman has been bigamized. He was arrested for it yesterday, by Officer W. P. Brown, on a complaint sworn to by his most recent wife, that he has a much more former wife now living in another part of the State. The wife that makes the complaint, and who drew a blank, in the eye of the law, in the husband lottery, married the prisoner on the 24th of June, in this city. A man is not allowed to have a wife lying around loose in every county of California, as Isaac may possibly find to his cost before he gets through with this case. He might as well make up his mind to shed one of these women.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 8, 1864


The Bigamist

We have mentioned elsewhere in our present issue the arrest of Isaac Hingman, on a charge of bigamy. The woman he married last, went to the station-house last night to see him. She says she worked for two years in lager beer cellars here, and, during that time, had saved six hundred and fifty dollars. Hingman got this from her. He said he was going down on the Colorado to open a Saloon, and she was to go with him. They were to leave to-day on a schooner, and he took her stove, her beds and bedding, and all her clothing, and put them on board the vessel. He told her he had been living with a woman at Auburn, and he would have to send her some money in order to get rid of her and her three children. The new wife gave him one hundred and thirty dollars for this purpose, and he went off and telegraphed his Auburn family to come down and go to the Colorado with him instead. The duped beer girl got the answering dispatch sent by the Auburn wife, in which she acceded to the proposal, and said she would arrive by the boat last night. Sergeant Evrard, of the Police, saw the dispatch. The woman said Hingman told her, in the station-house, that the lucky Auburn woman was his lawful wife. Officer Evrard sent a policeman, disguised, to wait for the up-country wife at the Sheba Saloon, last night, and find out what he could from her affecting the case. The story of the illegal wife is plausible, and if it is true, Mr. Hingman ought to be severely dealt with. But not too severely - we go in for moderation in all things, and, considering all the circumstances of this case, it might be a questionable application of power to do more than hang him. To hang him a little while - say thirty or forty minutes - ought to be about the fair thing, though. He wants to marry too many people; and he needs treatment that will tend to check this propensity.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 8 July 1864.


Opium Smugglers

The ingenuity of the Chinese is beyond calculation. It is asserted that they have no words or expressions signifying abstract right or wrong. They appreciate "good" and "bad," but it is only in reference to business, to finance, to trade, etc. Whatever is successful is good; whatever fails is bad. So they are not conscience-bound in planning and perfecting ingenious contrivances for avoiding the tariff on opium, which is pretty heavy. The attempted swindles appear to have been mostly, or altogether, attempted by the Coolie passengers - the Chinese merchants, either from honorable motives or from policy, having dealt honestly with the Government. But the passengers have reached the brains of rascality itself, to find means for importing their delicious drug without paying the duties. To do this has called into action the inventive genius of brains equal in this respect to any that ever lodged on the top end of humanity. They have, doubtless, for years smuggled opium into this port continuously. The officers of Customs at length got on their track, and the traffic has become unprofitable to the Coolies, however well it has been paying the officials through the seizures made. The opium has been found concealed in double jars and brass eggs, as heretofore described, brought ashore in bands around the body, and by various other modes. The latest dodge detected was sausages, Bolognas, as it were, filled with opium; and yesterday we saw a tin can, with a false bottom about one third the distance from the base, the lower third of the can filled with opium, the rest with oil. John himself will have to be opened next - he is undoubtedly full of it.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


Young Offender

While we were lounging in the City Jail yesterday afternoon, Officer Cook brought in a little girl, not more than seven or eight years old, whom he had arrested for stealing twenty-five dollars from a man in an auction-room the day before. She gave her name as Amelia Brown Wascus, and seemed to be a half breed Indian or negro - probably the latter, if one may judge by the kind of taste she displayed in laying out the stolen money, for she had spent a portion of it in the purchase of a toy hand organ with limited accomplishments, and those of a marked contraband tint - the same being indexed on the back of the plaything as "Buffalo Gals," and "My Pretty Yaller Gals." She had expended about fifteen dollars for various trinkets, and the balance of the money had been recovered by Officer Cook from the child's mother. Amelia cried bitterly all the time she was in the station-house, but she said nothing, and appealed for no compassion save in the pleading eloquence of her tears. She was taken to the Industrial School, and her accomplice - for it seems she had one of about her own age and sex - will follow her if she can be found.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 9 July 1864.


United States Circuit Court

Judges Field and Hoffman were occupied all day yesterday in hearing evidence in the case of Captain Josiah N. Knowles, of the ship Charger, indicted for manslaughter, in not stopping to pick up a sailor named Swansea, who fell from the royal yard arm of that ship, on the 1st of last April, during a voyage from Boston to San Francisco. From the testimony, it would appear that there was a heavy sea on at the time, and a stiff breeze blowing, and consequently it would not have been safe to send a boat after the man, while at the same time it would have been useless to shorten sail and put the ship about, because of the great length of time that would necessarily be consumed in the operation. Swansea fell one hundred and twenty feet, and one witness - the second officer of the ship thought he struck the "main channels" in his descent, and was a dead man when he reached the water. The Charger was on a quick trip, and was making over ten knots an hour at the time of the accident. The evidence was almost completed yesterday, and the arguments of counsel will be commenced to-day.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 9 July 1864.


Burglary - The Burglar Caught In The Act

A bold robbery was attempted, last evening, in the second story of the premises owned by Janson, Bond & Co., corner of Battery and Pine streets, occupied as a fancy goods importing house, but which, owing to the vigilance of one of the clerks who slept in the store, and the promptitude of Special Officer Sweeney in answering his alarm, was frustrated. About half-past eleven, as the clerk was about retiring, he heard a suspicious noise and raised the cry of "Watch !" Officer Sweeney immediately ran in the direction, and met a man running hastily away. He asked him what the matter was, and he replied "Somebody has lost a watch round the corner." Sweeney ordered him to stop; in reply he made a desperate lunge at the officer with a bowie knife. Sweeney then struck him over the head with his night lantern and brought him to reason. He was then taken to the station-house, where, on being searched, four gold watches, three revolvers, a bowie knife, and two bunches of gold rings were found on his person. He stated his name as William Johnson, and further that he had accomplices, and the name of one was McCarty. Officers Minson and Greenwood then repaired to the scene of the attempted robbery and thoroughly searched the place. They found on the sidewalk, just under the window, where it had been let down by Johnson to his confederates, a bag containing fifteen pistols, five bowie-knives and two pairs of bullet moulds. Up to a late hour last evening, the accomplices of Johnson had not been captured. A box containing four hundred dollars in silver escaped the notice of the robbers. It is probable this gang is the same that were concerned in the recent attempted safe robberies. It is somewhat significant, taken in connection with matters transpiring in the interior of the State, that the purpose of these scoundrels seemed to be to get hold of all the arms they could, comparatively ignoring some valuable jewelry, and other articles, of which they might have possessed themselves.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 9 July 1864.


The Bigamist

The old original Auburn wife of the bigamist Hingman, arrived by the boat night before last, but her whereabouts were not discovered until last night, when she was found in one of the up-town hotels, with her three children, and subpoenaed to appear as a witness in the impending trial of her husband for bigamy.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 10 July 1864.


Chinese Slaves

Captain Douglass and Watchman Hager boarded the ship Clara Morse, on Sunday morning, the moment she arrived, and captured nineteen Chinese girls, who had been stolen and brought from Hongkong to San Francisco to be sold. They were a choice lot, and estimated to be worth from one hundred and fifty to four hundred dollars apiece in this market. They are shut up for safe-keeping for the present, and we went and took a look at them yesterday; some of them are almost good-looking, and none of them are pitted with small pox - a circumstance which we have observed is very rare among China women. There were even small children among them - one or two not two years old, perhaps, but the ages of the majority ranged from fourteen to twenty. We would suggest, just here that the room where these unfortunates are confined is rather too close for good health - and besides, the more fresh air that blows on a Chinaman, the better he smells. The heads of the various Chinese Companies here have entered into a combination to break up this importation of Chinese prostitutes, and they are countenanced and supported in their work by Chief Burke and Judge Shepheard. Now-a-days, before a ship gets her cables out, the Police board her, seize the girls and shut them up, under guard, and they are sent back to China as soon as opportunity offers, at the expense of the Chinese Companies, who also send an agent along to hunt up the families from whom the poor creatures have been stolen, and restore to them their lost darlings again. Our Chinese fellow citizens seem to be acquiring a few good Christian instincts, at any rate.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 12 July 1864.


The Bigamy Case

The bigamy case came up in the Police Court yesterday morning, and Judge Shepheard dismissed it, because the charge could not be substantiated, inasmuch as the only witnesses to be had were the two alleged wives of the defendant - or rather, only one, the ephemeral lager-beer wife, as the old original wife, the first location, or the discovery claim on the matrimonial lead, could not be compelled to testify against her husband, and thereby also knock the props from under her own good name and her eternal piece of mind. The injured and deserted relocation now proposes to have Hingman arrested again and tried on a charge of assault and battery. This unfortunate woman seems to have been very badly treated, and it is to be hoped she may get some little soothing satisfaction out of her assault and battery charge to reconcile her to her failure in the bigamy matter.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 12 July 1864.


United States Circuit Court

The case of Captain Knowles, late of the ship Charger, indicted for manslaughter, in not attempting to rescue a sailor, named Swansea, who had fallen overboard, was ably argued by Messrs. Hall McAllister and the District Attorney, yesterday, and a verdict returned by the jury of "Not guilty as charged in the indictment." The jury were charged that if they had any doubt of the man's having been alive after he struck the water, to give the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. That little doubt saved Captain Knowles, as, in the opinion of at least one member of the jury, he was guilty of a criminal indifference as to the fate of his lost sailor. He seized the wheel after the steersman had begun to put the ship about, put her on her course again, and then coolly marched down to finish his breakfast. He did not even throw over a chicken-coop for the poor fellow to rest upon while he watched the disappearing ship with his despairing eyes. The prisoner has been discharged from custody, and the witnesses also, who have been drearily awaiting the trial of the case, in prison, for the past two months.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 12 July 1864.


Police Court Testimony

If there is anything more absurd than the general average of Police Court testimony, we do not know what it is. Witnesses stand up here, every day, and swear to the most extravagant propositions with an easy indifference to consequences in the next world that is altogether refreshing. Yesterday - under oath - a witness said that while he was holding the prisoner at the bar so that he could not break loose, the prisoner "pushed my wife with his hand - so - tried to push her over and kill her!" There was no evidence to show that the prisoner had anything against the woman, or was bothering himself about anything but his scuffle with her husband. Yet the witness surmised that he had the purpose hidden away in his mind somewhere to take her life, and he stood right up to the rack and swore to it; and swore also that he tried to turn this noble Dutchwoman into a corpse, by the simple act of pushing her over. That same woman might be pushed over the Yo Semite Falls without being killed by it, although it stands to reason that if she struck fair and bounced, it would probably shake her up some.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 12 July 1864.


Runaway

Yesterday morning, a horse and cart were carelessly left unhitched and unwatched in Dupont street. The horse, being of the Spanish persuasion and not to be depended on, finally got tired standing idle, and ran away. He ran into Berry street, ran half a square and upset the cart, and fell, helplessly entangled in the harness. The vehicle was somewhat damaged, but two or three new wheels, some fresh sides, and a new bottom, will make it all right again. Considering the fact that little short narrow Berry street contains as many small children as all the balance of San Francisco put together, it is strange the frantic horse did not hash up a dozen or two of them in his reckless career. They all escaped, however, by the singular accident of being out of the way at the time, and they visited the wreck in countless swarms, after the disaster, and examined it with unspeakable satisfaction. The driver is a man of extraordinary intellect and mature judgment - he set his cart on its legs again as well as he could, and then whipped his horse until it was easy to see that the poor brute began to comprehend that something was up, though it is questionable whether he has yet cyphered out what that something was, or not. The driver, as we said before, was not in his wagon at the time of the accident, which accounts for the misfortune of his not being hurt in the least.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 14 July 1864.


Calaboose Theatricals

Anna Jakes, drunk and disorderly, but excessively cheerful, made her first appearance in the City Prison last night, and made the dreary vaults ring with music. It was of the distorted, hifalutin kind, and she evidently considered herself an opera sharp of some consequence. Her idea was that "Whee-heeping sad and lo-honely" was not calculated to bring this cruel war to a close shortly, and she delivered herself of that idea under many difficulties; because, in the first place, Mary Kane, an old offender, was cursing like a trooper in a neighboring cell; and secondly, a man in another apartment who wanted to sleep, and who did not admire anybody's music, and especially Anna Jakes', kept inquiring, "Will you dry up that infernal yowling, you heifer?" - swinging a hefty oath at her occasionally - and so the cruel war music was so fused and blended with blasphemy in a higher key, and discouraging comments in a lower, that the pleasurable effect of it was destroyed, and the argument and the moral utterly lost. Anna finally fell to singing and dancing both, with a spirit that promised to last till morning, and Mary Kane and the weary man got disgusted and withdrew from the contest. Anna Jakes says she is a highly respectable young married lady, with a husband in the Boise country; that she has been sumptuously reared and expensively educated; that her impulses are good and her instincts refined; that she taught school a long time in the city of New York, and is an accomplished musician; and finally, that her sister got married last Sunday night, and she got drunk to do honor to the occasion - and with a persistency that is a credit to one of such small experience, she has been on a terrific bender ever since. She will probably let herself out on the cruel war for Judge Shepheard, in the Police Court, this morning.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 14 July 1864.


Inspection Of The Fortifications

Yesterday, General McDowell, accompanied by his Staff and many military officers, officials and civilians, made a tour of inspection of the harbor defences about the Bay of San Francisco. Many gentlemen had been invited to be of the party, and many answered by their presence. Besides Major General McDowell and Staff, were Brigadier General Wright and Staff, Brigadier-General Mason, Captain Van Vost, Provost Marshal, and other officers of the Army; Commander Woodworth of the Navy; Governor Low and suite; Mr. Redding, Secretary of State; Judges Field and Hoffman, of the U.S. Court; the Collector of the Port, Colonel James; Mr. Farwell, Naval officer; Dr. McLean, Surveyor of the Port; Captain Chenery, Navy Agent; Mayor Coon; Postmaster Perkins; Hon. Mr. Benton, Judge Lake, General Allen, General Carpenter, Wm. T. Coleman, and many other citizens whose names are not just now recollected, and several members of the Press, last but not least, always around where items are to be picked up, shells to be exploded, or corks to be drawn. A little after nine o'clock the "Goliah" left Broadway wharf with her precious freight. We could not help reflecting, should she blow up or sink, what a suit with bright buttons Neptune might wear, and how Army, Navy, Executive, Judiciary, Customs, Municipal and Civil Services would suffer. Away went the pleasant company, steaming down the Bay towards Fort Point. The company - those not before acquainted - were introduced to General McDowell, and each and all seemed delighted with his frank and genial manner, his quietly social disposition, his soldierly appearance and bearing, and the facility with which he at once put everyone at ease.

FORT POINT. - At the Fort he was received with his appropriate salute. The different parts of the fortifications were inspected by the General and his guests. To the eye of a civilian, the works and their warlike appliances appeared formidable and in excellent condition for service. There was but one exception. From the barbette, some shell practice was had, the target being on the opposite shore, at Lime Point. But the fuses proved imperfect, the shells exploding almost immediately upon starting on their journey. This of course will be at once remedied. After the shelling, the troops were drawn up within the Fort and were reviewed by General McDowell and Governor Low; the Band playing appropriate music. The officer of the day in command of the troops, is a gentleman who won his commission by meritorious service in eleven battles at the East. We regret that we have not his name. The party then returned to the steamer and started across the Bay towards that famous spot of which all have heard not a little for years past -

LIME POINT. - The steamer ran close along the northern shore for a considerable distance, allowing an excellent opportunity for judging of the superior qualities the formation affords for a strong fortification. It can readily be transformed into a second Gibraltar. The position is needed by Government, which should take it, and leave the consideration of pay to the future. Next the steamer was headed up the Bay, and the company invited below to partake of a lunch. That this interesting incident was all that could be desired will appear evident by saying that it was prepared at the "Occidental," and that Leland himself was present to see that chicken salad and champagne were properly dispensed. Soon the steamer reached the wharf at

ANGELS' ISLAND. - Here another salute greeted the General, who, with his guests, inspected the fortifications there fast growing into formidable proportions and condition. The little valley lying between the Point at the entrance of Raccoon Straits, on which is a battery destined to guard that passage, and the high point to the south, where there is another new work, nearly ready for use, bears the appearance of a pleasant little village, with white houses and fixings, indicative of officers' families, soldiers' barracks, and domestic life. From this abode of the Angels the company proceeded through Raccoon Straits - beautiful sheet of water - around Angels' Island, and as they were passing the eastern end, all of a sudden found themselves saluted by scores of white handkerchiefs on shore, which was answered in kind, and with splendid music by the fine band of the Ninth infantry. A picnic party were on shore, and gave this very pleasing incident to the excursion. Passing the Point, the company had an opportunity to view the preparations for the battery there, apparently nearly ready for mounting its guns and then steamed across, and landed at

ALCATRACES, under a thundering salute from the southern batteries. A general examination of the whole Island and its defences followed; then a partaking of the hospitalities of Capt. Winder, Commandant of the Post, and shell practice from the northwestern battery. The shells here were in better condition, and the practice more satisfactory. The reported number of guns on the Island now, and to be, differs, ranging from ninety to one hundred and eighty. The exact number is not material. There are enough to knock any fleet that can ever come within reach into splinters. Leaving Alcatraces, after an inspection of the forces there, with another salute, the steamer's prow was pointed toward Yerba Buena Island - a look was had, while passing, at the positions yet to be fortified - and she passed up the Bay to the mouth of Mission Creek, past the Aquila - of which ship some of our readers have heard occasionally - and then back along the city front, the band playing national and other airs, to Broadway wharf, the place of starting. The General knows whether the inspection was satisfactory in a military light. We do not. But it may be said that the trip was exceedingly pleasant and satisfactory to all the guests of the gallant soldier to whose courtesy they were indebted for the delightful excursion.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 14 July 1864.


Return

Return to San Francisco Genealogy
Public Commons License