Posts Tagged ‘1866’

Gaiter Boots

December 15, 2012

Boots 1860s

Image from Laura Elizabeth on Pinterest

GAITER BOOTS.

O dainty foot!
O gaiter boot!
To piety you’re shocking;
I only know —
Of one thing worse,
And that a snow white stocking.

So neat and clean,
Together seen,
E’en stoics must agree
To you to vote
What Gray once wrote,
A handsome L – E – G.

The [lasting] theme
Of midnight dream,
The very [soul] of song,
Man wants you little
Here below,
And never wants you long.

By Plato ne’er
Sent tripping here;
By Pluto rather given,
To lead poor man
(An easy plan)
To any place but heaven.

Yet still I vow
There’s magic now
About a woman’s foot,
And cunning was
The wizard hand
That made a gaiter boot.

For while the knave
The gaiter gave
To mortals to ensnare them,
Mankind he hoaxed,
And even coaxed
The angels down to wear them.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 1, 1866

Oil on the Brain

October 17, 2012

Image from The Journal of American History

OIL ON THE BRAIN.
A COMIC BALLAD.

BY EASTBURN.

The Yankees that they make clocks
Which “just beat all creation.”
They never made one could keep time
With our great speculation.
Our stocks, like clocks, go with a spring:
wind up, run down again;
But all our strikes are sure to cause
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS:

Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

There’s various kinds of oil afloat: cod-liver,
Castor, sweet–
Which tend to make a sick man well, and set
him on his feet;
But ours a curious feat performs — We just a
well obtain,
And set the people crazy with
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s neighbor Smith, a poor young man,
Who could not raise a dime,
Had clothes that boasted many rents,
And took his “Nip” on time;
But now he’s clad in dandy style,
Sports diamonds, kids, and cane;
And his success was owing to
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Miss Simple drives her coach and four,
And dresses in high style;
And Mr. Shoddy courts her strong,
Because her “Dad’s struck ile.”
Her jewels, laces, velvets, silks,
Of which she is so vain,
Were bought by “Dad” the time he had
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

You meet a friend upon the street.
He greets you with a smile,
And tells you, in a hummed way,
He’s “just gone into ile.”
He button-holds you half an hour —
Of course, you can’t complain —
For, you can see the fellow has
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

The lawyers, doctors, hatters, clerks,
Industrious and lazy,
Have put their money all in stocks,
In fact, have gone “oil crazy,”
They’d better stick to briefs and pills,
Hot irons, ink and pen,
Or they will “kick the bucket” from
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

Poor Mrs. Jones was taken ill.
The doctors gave her up.
They lost the confidence they had
In lancet, leech, and cup.
“Afflictions sore long time she bore,
Physicians were in vain;”
And she, at last, expired of
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS

There’s “Maple Shade,” “Monitor,”
“Bull Creek,” “Big Tank,” “Dalzell,”
And “Keystone,” “Star,” “Venango,”
“Briggs,”
“Organic” and “Farewell,”
“Petroleum,” “Saint Nicholas,”
“Cornplanter,” “New Creek Vein;”
Sure ’tis no wonder many have
Oil on the brain.

CHORUS
Stocks par, stocks up,
then on the wane,
Everybody’s troubled with
Oil on the brain.

Then Venango Spectator (Franklin, Pennsylvania) Mar 1, 1865

Sheet music can be found at Jscholarship

Tune and Lyrics (scroll down) at American Civil War Music

The Little Brown Jug – [excerpts]

….It is generally used to-day as a college drinking song. A peculiar use when it is considered that its author, “Eastburn,” which was the nom de plume signed to most of his music by Joseph Eastburn Winner, was a strictly temperate man and an advocate of temperance, rather than an encourage of the “little brown jug.”

…..Whenever he outlined a song, before he put on the finishing touches, he would call in a little bootblack from the street, and used him as a sort of audience and musical critic combined. He knew most of the boys who in those days plied their trade in and about the old Reading Terminal, of Philadelphia, at Ninth and Green streets. Mr. Winner would seat himself at the piano, first telling the “audience and critic” that he wanted to play for him a new piece he had composed. He would begin and play it through, not once, but a dozen times, watching the effect on the “audience,” and if it moved its feet, or seemed to have any special effect, or if the “shine” would go out whistling it after the recital, Mr. Winner put it down a winner, and he says the test never failed him.

….Mr. Winner does not claim absolute originality in the writing of “The Little Brown Jug,”….. Mr. Winner jotted down the poem, entirely rearranged it into verse and chorus, added several verses, and sat down at the piano and wrote the melody….

…..Mr. Joseph Eastburn Winner is still living in West Philadelphia enjoying the best of health. His life has been a most active one, and he is now enjoying the ease of a man who has accomplished much and is willing to spend his remaining years in the pleasant memories of the past. He is a brother of Septimus Winner, the composer of “The Mocking Bird,” and many other songs. When “Eastburn” was only twelve years old he was able to play the violin so well that he was frequently heard in concert in Philadelphia as a prodigy. At this time he made his home with his older brother Sep., at Franklin and Callowhill streets.

One of the first songs Winner composed and published was “The Ring My Mother Wore.” It became immensely popular. The words had been written by Lewis Dela, who was known in Philadelphia as “The Bard of Tower Hall.” A short time after this came the oil excitement, and Mr. Winner wrote one of his best comic songs, which was called, “Oil on the Brain,” and which was sung in all parts of the country. It was first sung by Mr. Dixie, of Carncross & Dixie’s, and was frequently hear on the stage at the Old Arch Street Theater, then conducted by Mrs. John Drew.

…..He was only in his teens when he wrote “The Ring My Mother Wore,” and for its composition he received then bright silver dollars, which to him in those days seemed a small fortune. For many of his songs later in life he received large sums…..

After conducting the store at Eighth and Green streets for a number of years, he sold it to his brother, Septimus Winner, and went into the publishing business with J.M. Stoddart, at 1018 Chestnut street. They published extensively the Encylopaedia Britannica, and bought out all the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, as well as a great deal of music of various classes….

…..Mr. Winner has been married twice. His children of his first wife are living in Philadelphia, and with his second wife he has one son, a bright boy of seven, who bears the name of Hawthorne Winner, Hawthorne being Mr. Winner’s mother’s name, and out of respect for her Mr. Septimus Winner used the pen name of “Alice Hawthorne” for “The Mocking Bird” and many other songs he composed….

The Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.)  Jun 19, 1910

The Bookseller and Newsman, v. 12 (google link)

House Cleaning

June 6, 2012

Image from TexasEscapes – O’Quinn, Texas

HOUSE CLEANING.

[The following poetic effusion is appropriate at the present time, and will be appreciated by hosts of readers who have passed through the perils of house cleaning:]

The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,
Of cleaning paint, and scrubbing floors, and scouring far and near.
Heaped in the corners of the room, the ancient dirt lay quiet,
And spiders wove their web secure from fear, or din of riot,
But now the carpets are all up, and from the stair case top
The mistress calls to man and maid to wield the broom and mop.

Where are those rooms, those quiet rooms, the house but now presented,
Wherein we dwelt, nor dreamed or dirt, so cozy and cented?
Alas! they’re turned all upside down, that quiet suit of rooms,
With slops and suds, and soap and sand, and tubs and pails and brooms,
Chairs, tables, stands are standing, ’round at sixes and at sevens,
While wife and housemaids fly about like meteors in the heavens.

The parlor and the chamber floor was cleaned a week ago,
The carpets shook and windows washed, as all the neighbors know;
But still the sanctum had escaped — the table piked with books,
Pens, inks and paper all about, peace in its very looks —
Till fell the women on them all, as falls the plague on men,
And then they vanished all away — books, papers, ink and pen.

And now, when comes the master home, as come he must at nights,
To find all things are “set to wrongs” that they have “set to rights.”
When the sound of driving tacks is heard, though the house is far from still
And the carpet women are on the stairs, that harbinger of ill —
He looks for papers, books or bills, that were all there before,
And sighs to find them on the desk or in the drawer no more.

And  then he grimly thinks of her who set this fuss afloat,
And wishes she were out to sea in a very leaky boat;
He meets her at the parlor door, with hair and cap awry,
With sleeves tucked up and broom in hand, defiance in her eye,
He feels quite small and knows full well there’s nothing to be said,
So holds his tongue, and drinks his tea, and sneaks away to bed.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 8, 1866

The Heart’s Idol – A Civil War Memory

May 28, 2012

THE HEART’S IDOL.

BY RENA L.L.  .

[To Mrs. Ida Mathers, my friend and companion, around the cots of our country’s wounded and dying.]

She came, a quiet messenger
To those who needed care;
A gentle friend, a faithful nurse.
Like some saddened spirit
She would come and go
So noiselessly that echoes dared not haunt her footsteps.
Those dark eyes, so large and sad,
Like summer seas, pure, fathomless and deep,
Told her sad history.

In the heat of battle he was stricken down;
Brave, strong and true, his men
Where  fiercest raged the conflict;
Nor left them when the serried ranks
Poured forth from mutilated forms,
And formed in line of march
For lands immortal.
“For Liberty and God,” he cried,
As, through the battle smoke and dust,
He caught the glimmer of the flag.
Now rising, falling, but at last upright
Is planted firmly; the field is won —
I’m ready now, my men! One message home
And I’ll be with you —

“Dear wife, I’m dying! Oh, my best beloved,
My precious Ida, we have loved too well!
Kiss Maud for me our only darling
Meet me in Heaven — dear one, farewell!”
What wonder that the tears would start
With ever gush of music, every voice of mirth?
What wonder that she moved so still,
Tenderly and gently as a sister might
Among the wounded sufferers?
Her heart was sore, she too had suffered;
Her idol slept and earth had lost its light.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 29, 1866

1860 Census – Gilcad, Branch Co., Michigan: Ida, her husband, Zelotes and daughter Maud are living with his parents.

Zelotes fought for the Union (he was a sergeant,) was wounded and died.

This book states Zelotes died from disease.

How a “Reconstructed” Organ Talks

May 26, 2012

How a “Reconstructed” Organ Talks.

We are in possession, through the courtesy of a friend now sojourning in Mobile, Ala., of late files of the papers of that city. The Mobile Daily Tribune publishes Government advertisements; and from this fact it may be regarded as quite as thoroughly “reconciled” and “re-constructed” as any of the papers of that city. We clip a few items, almost at random, from its columns.

The Tribune is evidently not a radical organ, if the following can be taken as bearing upon this point:

RADICAL. — There are some words which have that about them that inspires the beholder with disgust akin to that which the sight of a loathsome reptile fills him, and the word above we have always considered of that number. The word itself was a very innocent word till it became [polluted] by being used to designate the vilest fiends that ever become incarnate. *   *   The words recks with blood, and we had rather have any other word fastened to us than this bad one. But the men in the United States who have achieved eternal infamy by winning the right to be called radical, seem rather proud of the title — just as the demons who once raged in France, gloried in the names of Jacobin and Sans Culotte. And nothing tends more than this characteristic, to show the ultimate designs of those loathsome reptiles. Not content with having murdered two millions of people, white and black, by fire and sword, they are now seeking to destroy or drive to destruction as many more, by the establishment of packed juries, and the erection of gallows throughout the land.

The following extract from a notice of the “Crescent Monthly,” a literary magazine published at New Orleans, indicates the literary taste of the Tribune, and its desire to “foster and encourage every effort in the right direction:”

The May number of the “Crescent Monthly” is replete with entertaining and instructive matter. The leading article is a just and well considered epitome of Gen. Lee’s campaigns, beginning with his brilliant exploits as commander of the army of Northern Virginia, just after the battle of Seven Pines, and concluding with the mournful story of his surrender. It is a worthy contribution to the history of the late gallant, but unfortunate struggle, and a fitting tribute to the military genius and heroic qualities of our great leader.

Image from Battle of Franklin

To those who have become accustomed to the trashy literature of the North — the narrow-minded, bigoted Bostonology of the Atlantic Monthly, or of the disgusting sensationals of the Harpers, or the diluted nothings of N.P. Willis, the Crescent Monthly should be thrice welcome. We turn from the nauseating doses of Puritan literature to the solid, healthful pabulum of the Crescent, with very much the same feeling that one quits the dirty, murky atmosphere of the city, for the fresh, invigorating air and green fields of the country. The distressful lustrum through which the South has lately passed, brought with it one good effect; it exemplified us, for the time, from the periodical flood of vicious publications threw off by Northern presses.

Our aim should be to protect our homes and firesides from the influence of this baneful literature. We foster and encourage every effort in the right direction, and in this view we commend the Crescent Monthly, whose high, dignified tone and instructive pages entitle it to the support of Southern men.

We cannot conclude this notice more agreeably to our readers than by reproducing from the Crescent the following exquisite little poem by our former townsman, Harry Flash. The poetic fire glares as brightly in the soul of the young poet as when in days gone by, his graceful pen contributed so often to the pleasure of the Tribune’s many readers. But here is the poem:

Image from Legends of America

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG.

Four stormy years we saw it gleam,
A people’s hope — and then refurled,
Even while its glory was the them
Of half the world.

The beacon that, with streaming ray,
Dazzled a struggling nation’s sight —
Seeming a pillar of cloud by day,
Of fire by night.

They jeer, who trembled as it hung,
Comet-like, blazoning in the sky —
And heroes such as Homer sung,
Followed it — to die.

It fell — but stainles as it rose,
Martyred, like Stephen, in the strife;
Passing like him, girdled with foes,
From death to life.

Fame’s trophy, sanctified by tears!
Planted forever, at her portal;
Folded, true — what then? Four short years
Made it immortal.

Image of Strother from behind AotW

Au contrarie, “Porto Crayon,” the sprightly artist-contributor to Harper’s Magazine, being a Virginian, comes in for a “first-rate notice” at the hands of the “reconstructed” editor, thus:

Picking up a late number of Harper’s Monthly, sent us by a friend, we noticed that the first article was entitled “Personal Recollections of the War, by a Virginian,” and because it laid claim to such authorship, we were induced to read it. What was our indignation when we found that the creature assuming this glorious citizenship, was no other than the renegade Strother, alias Porto Crayon — the swaggering Adjutant-General of the ruffian Hunter, the burner of Virginia houses and public buildings, the murderer of Virginia’s sons; the hired scribbler and dauber of the venomous Harper’s.

Image of Stonewall Jackson from NNDB

This wretch has the impudence to write himself Virginian, without the prefix “renegade,” when by every means in his power, except great exposure of his person, he was opposing Virginia’s representative men, her Lees, Jacksons and Johnstons — was at the moment of her agony upon the cross, thrusting the finger of scorn and insult into the bleeding sides if his noble old mother. Let such creatures scribble and daub for Harper to his heart’s content; the occupation is worthy of him — but we beg of them to drop all claim to be called Southern or Virginian. Virginian! who that was not on the side of Stonewall Jackson has the shadow of a claim to be called such? World-wide as is the fame of this name it cannot be stretched to take in the same things telescopic and microscopic — Stonewall Jackson and Porto Crayon. — There must be different words to distinguish the principles of these two.   *   *   *

After blatant professions of a determination to oppose by any means in his power, the success of the movement of Virginia in 1861, he tells how he spent much of his time on intimate terms with the officers of Gen. Johnston’s army at Harper’s Ferry, taking drawings of the works, &c., and proves by his own words, that he deserved to be hung as a spy.

But why waste any more words on such a subject? He has consigned himself to eternal infamy by being first the Adjutant-General of Hunter in his Valley march, and then the hired scribeler for Harper’s Magazine.

Image from Virginia Historical Society’s Blog

One more extract much suffice for to-day. It is a portion of a poem which is “going the rounds” of the Southern press, with editorial comments of admiration:

Gallant nation, foiled by numbers,
Say not that your hopes are fled;
Keep that Glorious flag which slumbers,
One day to avenge your dead.
Keep it, widowed, silent mothers,
Keep it, sisters mourning brothers,
Fur it with an iron will;
Furl it now but — keep it still;
Think not that its work is done.
Keep it till your children take it,
Once again to hall and make it
All their sires have bled and fought for,
All their noble hearts have sought for,
Furl that banner, sadly, slowly,
Treat it gently, for ’tis holy.
Till the day — yes, furl it sadly,
Then once more unfurl it gladly —
Conquered Banner — keep it still!

Why shouldn’t loyal sentiments like these again find expressions in the halls of Congress, and all in the departments of the Government? Why?

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 26, 1866

A Difference

May 11, 2012

A Difference.

John Brown made an unlawful attempt to destroy slavery, which resulted in the killing of a dozen men. He was arrested, tried and hung.

Jefferson Davis made an unlawful attempt to perpetuate slavery, which resulted in the death of a million men. He is in durance vile, but from present indications stands a hundred chances of being the next President to one of being hung. From all of which we gather that it is treason worthy of death to take up arms against slavery, and no treason to take up arms for its perpetuation. —

If Jefferson Davis is not hung, the execution of John Brown was cold and unjustifiable murder.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 22, 1866

*****

More about the above image from Roy Rosenweig Center for History and New Media:

This lithograph, rather than depicting the scene of Jefferson Davis’ arrest, added other symbols to create a more allegorical representation of the Confederate President’s capture by Union soldiers. Davis, wearing a woman’s dress and bonnet, sits in a birdcage suspended from a hangman’s scaffold. Next to the cage, John Brown, clad in a white robe, rises from out of the ground and points accusingly at Davis. Beneath the cage, diminutive figures of African Americans — in costumes familiar from minstrel stage representations of supposed black character “types” — perform a jubilant and mocking dance. Brown became the most famous martyr to the anti-slavery cause in 1859, when he led a small band of armed men in a raid against the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, intending to seize the weapons there and free all slaves in the vicinity. Brown and his associates were captured and hanged for treason.

Source: G. Querner, John Brown Exhibiting His Hangman, lithograph, Cincinnati, 1863.

JEFF. DAVIS.

What the Mother of a Soldier Starved at Anderson Thinks.

From the Cincinnati Commercial, June 1.

EDS. COM. — In your paper of yesterday you say “There is no great eagerness for the hanging of Jeff. Davis. The best public opinion is that he ought to have been permitted to run away, or killed on the spot when captured, and that he should now be set ashore upon the continent of Africa,” etc.

I am the mother of one of the bravest of volunteer soldiers, who served his country during the late war, and died, with the thousands of her sons, at Andersonville, under the treatment of Jeff. Davis.

What I want the Government whom these men served, and for whom they were so cruelly murdered, to assure us, their surviving friends, is that we are not to be insulted by the liability of meeting that murderer face to face in the streets or highways of his native land. I cannot imagine that the Government contemplates inflicting such a torture on its own friends, as this possibility.

Perhaps we had a right to demand his death — perhaps there is not one of us who would not almost have given their own life to have been allowed to take his — perhaps in the history of the world there has never been an instance of a man who has so barbarously treated his prisoners, being, in return, pampered with luxuries and indulgencies, and invited, as it were, to live, by the very polite government for whom our poor boys have been sacrificed.

Is he to have his health carefully considered, who refused to shelter from the cold, the heat and the storm, the sick and dying of our army? — Dying a thousand deaths in this monstrous captivity, without a friend to help them, and we, their nearest and dearest, expected to sit by with complacency and read the reports of this man’s trumpery nerves, published to excite commiseration for his fate?

Should the Government again require volunteer help, what amount does it expect from the families of the thousands who are lying at Andersonville?

Will the press befriend those whom all other powers have deserted?

A BEREAVED MOTHER.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Jun 12, 1866

It’s All About the Ball

May 9, 2012

Image from Glimpses Into Baseball History

Base Ball.

As many of our readers are not familiar with the game, we append a description of it, written by our friend Cory O’Lanus, a warm admirer of the game:

“The game is a great invention. It is easily understood. All you have to do is just keep your eye on the ball.

It is all about a ball.

Image from Rob L’s Baseball Memorabilia

They also use a bat. The bat is a club built on the model of the club Barnum killed Capt. Cook with.

This is the reason why the organization is called a club.

One fellow takes a club and stands on a line, and another stands in front and fires the ball at him.

The chap with a club hits back.

The ball flies in another direction.

The first fellow drops the club as though he was scared, and runs like a pickpocket with an M.P. after him.

Several fellows run after the ball; somebody catches it and fires it at somebody else, when the chap who had the club stops running.

Another fellow then takes the club and the same man, who is called “pitcher,” pitches on him, fires the ball at him, when he hits back, knocks the ball, drops his club and cuts his stick for the first base.

Image from Civil War, Washington, D.C.

Half a dozen fellows out on picket duty scramble for the ball.

One reliable B.B. is posted behind the club man, in case the club man missed the ball, to see that it don’t go by and hit the Umpire.

When one side goes out the other side goes in, and when both sides are out it is called innings.

It is quite an intelligent game, depending entirely on the use of your legs. The first principle of the game is running.

When you are “in” you run away from the ball; when you are “out” you run after it.

It is splendid exercise; it keeps you so warm; consequently always played in the summer time.”

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 15, 1866

Out Here In California

June 9, 2010

To Correspondents.

G.W.F.: — Sends a transcript of a letter from an affectionate husband in California to his devoted wife:

DEAR NANCY:

Could you only see
The way I’m pestered with the flea,
I know that you would pity me,
And come to California.

At first they crawl and then they bite,
and then I scratch with all my might,
And that’s the way I pass the night,
Out here in California.

I have a friend here you must know,
Who says they troubled him just so,
Until his wife came from Saco
Out here in California.

He says now, when the days grow dim,
The fleas bite her instead of him,
And he don’t have to scratch a limb,
Out here in California.

But often in the darkest night
She cries aloud with all her might,
‘Dear husband, how the fleas do bite,
Out here in California!’

Then he gets up with smiling face,
And holds the light while she does chase
The fleas away from their hiding place,
Out here in California.

Now, Nancy, if you’ll come out here,
The nimble fleas you need not fear,
For I will hold that light, my dear,
For you in California.

I’ll light the candle with a match,
And try the naughty fleas to catch;
If I don’t succeed I’ll help you scratch,
Out here in California.

My dearest Nancy, I have got
A little home in a quiet spot;
Now come and share my lonely cot,
Out here in California.

Dear Nan, good-bye, Remember me
To all our friends in Beverly,
And don’t forget to come and see
Your John in California.

NANCY’S ANSWER.

Dear John, your letter I’ve just read,
And only wonder you ain’t dead,
A tossin’ on your lonely bed,
Out there in California.

I am coming out there right away,
For here I can no longer stay;
I long to drive those fleas away,
Out there in California.

You friend out there must loving be,
To hold the light and catch the flea;
And I hope you’ll do as much for me,
Out there in California.

You know I cannot sleep at night
When things around me crawl and bite;
So be prepared to strike a light,
When I come to California.

I hope that you have got the knack
Of catching fleas way down my back,
And won’t we laugh to hear them crack,
Out there in California.

I think it’s very kind of you
To promise me so much to do —
To hold the light and scratch me too,
Out there in California.

But your kind offer I decline,
For fleas don’t always bite behind;
And I shall scratch myself sometimes,
Out there in California.

I’ve sold the house and sold the lot,
And now I leave this lovely spot,
To go and share your lonely cot,
Out there in California.

Dear John, good-bye. I still remain
Your loving wife, your Nancy Jane,
You need not write to me again —
I’m off for California.

POSTSCRIPT.

There’s one thing that consoles me quite:
That if you sleep so sound at night
As not to hear me cry with fright,
‘Dear husband, how the fleas do bite!’
Your friend out there can hold the light
For me in California.

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) Aug 26, 1866

Dogberry’s History of California

May 4, 2010

For students writing reports on California history, I recommend reading this article carefully before deciding whether or not to use it as a source.  Some of the linked sources might be useful.

HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES.

WRITTEN FOR THE GOLDEN ERA
BY DOGBERRY.


Drake Landing in California (Image from Wiki)

CHAPTER FIRST. — THE DISCOVERY.

California was discovered in 1579 by Sir Francis Drake, an old English sea guerrilla who plundered Spanish galleons and cut throats by the grace of God and her most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Sir Francis, unmindful of harbor regulations, sailed through the heads without a pilot. He landed at North Beach, laid out Montgomery street, then sailed up country and founded San Andreas.

San Andreas is a very nice place. Sir Francis never ‘raised the color’ in California, and so far as the real benefit of his discovery is concerned he might as well have staid home.

Mission Dolores (Image from http://www.learncalifornia.org)

CHAPTER SECOND. — EARLY HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY.

From 1579 till the discovery of gold in 1848, California laid an empty yellow blot on the map of North America, and was chiefly famous from its association with Dana‘s ‘Two Years before the Mast.’

The rivers ran undisturbed over tons of treasure. Millions of money laid idle in the flats and gulches. The Digger wandered over these stores of wealth in a miserable but happy state of unprogressiveness.

He fished, hunted, slept and gratified his epicurean tastes with crickets and grass hoppers.

The inhabitants of Castillian descent lived in a sort of vitalized doze.

They were an unhappy people, rejoicing neither in newspapers, mining stocks, trichinia, rinderpest nor cholera.

Ignorant enough to be contented, they cared little whether school kept or not.

As a general thing school did not keep.

CHAPTER THIRD. — CONQUEST AND DISCOVERY OF GOLD.

In 1847, Commodore Sloat, Commodore Stockton and John C. Fremont captured California.

Fremont, guided by a grizzly, discovered a pass through the Rocky Mountains. Some say Fremont went first through the pass, and others contend that the grizzly did.

Hence the adoption of the bear flag.

Commodore Stockton founded the city bearing his name, situated at tother end of the slough at the head of mud hen navigation.

Fremont founded the Mariposa estate, while Commodore Sloat found nothing, and left in disgust for the East.

Sloat’s example has frequently been followed since.

Shortly afterward ensued the discovery of gold. Everybody rushed to the diggings. Everybody got rich. Everybody in other portions of this sublumunmary sphere who could beg, borrow or steal the means, came to California. They also got rich.

Regarding prosperity the country started at the point where others culminate.

The most fortunate gold hunters were drunken sailors. Men of morality and steady habit were invariably unlucky. Virtue was another name for starvation. Shooting and cutting were almost as common as at present. Hanging was a domestic, not a judicial institution, and was administered for nearly all relapses of honesty.

In addition to the hanging the natural ignorance of mankind regarding the proper method of making light bread, and the proper manner of cooking pork and beans caused the mortality for the first year or two to be very great.

At length a saviour arrived who instructed the people not to commence boiling the salt pork at the same time with their beans.

After this the country became more healthy. Hanging also disappeared as an epidemic, and has not troubled us much since.

In those flush times whisky was four bits per drink.

Whisky is now but one bit per drink.

To the political economist this points unerringly to the fact that the country is but one fourth as prosperous as in ’49’ and ’50.’

CHAPTER FOURTH. — INVERTED GROWTH OF CALIFORNIA.

In 1854 and 1855 a large proportion of the rich miners either went home or started for home.

A number got as far as the nearest camp, some to Sacramento or Stockton, some to San Francisco, and a few actually went on the steamer.

In every case they spent all their money, and then went back to the mines for more.

But just about this time the mines commenced ‘petering.’

To ‘peter’ is a phrase of California origin and pertains tonon est inventus. The derivation of the phrase is lost in the obscurity of early times, but it probably germinated from some ‘strapped’ miner by the name of Peter.

‘Strapped’ is also a word of California growth, and partakes of the same signification as ‘broke.’

‘Broke’ means ‘panned out.’

‘Panned out’ means ‘gone up the flume.’

‘Gone up the flume’ differs in no wise from ‘gone in.’

‘Gone in’ is to be ‘busted.’

‘Busted’ is not to be able to ‘raise the color.’

Not to be able to ‘raise the color’ is to possess no ‘kale seed.’

Without ‘kale seed’ is to be without ‘nary red.’

Such are a few of the California roots of the phrase ‘to peter,’ and may throw some etymological light on the signification of the term.

Many of these victims of the ‘petering’ of the mines are still resident in the same localities where they ‘struck it’ in ’49.’

‘Struck it’ is a term synonymous with ‘making a raise.’

‘Making a raise’ is identical with ‘making a stake.’

These victims are generally characterized by dungaree pants immoderately worn at the further antipodal extremity, and a lofty contempt for anything less than ‘ounce diggings.’

They are often sorely annoyed by the conduct of the present race of country merchants who refuse them credit and object to wait for money until it comes out of the ‘bed of the river.’

CHAPTER FIFTH. — INVERTED GROWTH CONTINUED — FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS.

From 1856 to 1866 California has been waiting for foreign capital to develop her resources.

In the mean time the inhabitants of many of the smaller camps, like Cow Bar, Shiriville, Horseopolis, Joshtown, Murderville, and Cat-your-diaphragm-out Flat, have shut up their stores and cabins and left temporarily until the foreign capital emigrates hither from Europe and the East.

Most of them are now rushing around like the Israelites in the wilderness to strike a ‘big thing.’

These rushes are periodical and spasmodical.

They have rushed up to Gold Bluffs, then down to Kern river, then up again to Frazer, then down again to Colorado, then up again to Cariboo, then down again to Arizona, then up again to Idaho and Montana, and lastly down again to Barbacoas.

In ’59’ and ’60’ there was a big side rush to Washoe.

They persist in these rushes despite the advice of the Press which ever tells them that it is better to stay and starve to death at home.

In these various rushes many have through disease, heat, cold, accident, murder and starvation gone to ‘that bourne‘ supposed to be located near the Tropics.

These rushes will continue for the next thirty years. When the forty years are fulfilled and the old generation have rushed completely out, there will be a cessation.

CHAPTER SIXTH. — THE CHINESE, RESOURCES, QUARTZ, COPPER.

The Chinese have been a great blessing to this State. They have saved the Americans the trouble of working about one-half of their diggings. They were among the first to render the condition of male humanity tolerable by the introduction of females. The collection of the foreign miners tax, to which they liberally contributed has enriched many worthy men.

QUARTZ.

Quartz is a fine white rock and sometimes holds a great deal of the precious metal. Much gold can be put in quartz and it will retain it so firmly that you may never get it out again. It is difficult to ascertain whether quartz or river mining has proved most efficacious in cleaning men out of their piles gathered from the placers.

Copper ranks next to quartz in importance at least so far as the cleaning out process is concerned.

To be cleaned out it to arrived at the finale of the process of ‘petering.’

Our most learned geologists (some of whom have made this science a study for weeks) say that a belt of copper extends through the entire State.

There are a few paying claims. The remainder only require depth and more assessments.

The proper method of working a quartz or copper mine can best be learned in a broker’s office on Montgomery street.

OIL.

There is some oil in California, but it requires for its development depth, assessments and foreign capital!

San Francisco 1860 View of Goat Island

Above picture, along with many other awesome ones can be found HERE: San Francisco in the Past in Black and White

CHAPTER SEVENTH. — TOWNS AND CITIES.

San Francisco is the principal town in California. Sacramento comes next in importance, Stockton next, and Dutch Flat next. San Francisco is situated directly opposite Goat Island, and is noted chiefly for its earthquakes and for being General Halleck‘s Thomas Maguire’s and Samuel Brannan‘s stamping ground.

A large portion of the city is built over the water. The early settlers were not aware for several years that there was any land back.

With the exception of Telegraph Hill it has several times been destroyed by fire.

San Francisco is also noted for the number and variety of its local novelists, and the pomp and splendor of its lunch tables. The principal public buildings are the Station House, and the old Bulletin office in Merchant street.

The old Bulletin office is of the ironical style of architecture, and is ornamented outwardly with fresco a’la poster.

San Francisco also boasts an extensive zoological collection at North Beach, and a public gallery of modern and unique statuary at the Willows.

The inhabitants are Cosmopolitan, Mongolian, and Ethiopian. A few small American traders and mechanics still linger in its precincts.

Trade and commerce flourish to some extent in San Francisco, but the principal occupation of the people consists in building new school-houses, growling about high fares on the street railroads, fighting the Moore claim, paying poll taxes, and all sorts of taxes, and getting run over by the Market street cars.

Sacramento by the way is the capital of California, and is noted for its humidity in the rainy season.

CHAPTER EIGHTH. — SOCIETY.

California society is generally mixed. The females are generally ‘fast.’ Males ditto. Marriage is expensive and unpopular. Divorces are cheap, and often prove a never-failing relief in time of need.

CONCLUSION.

A brilliant future is in store for California, and the day is not far distant when she may rank next to many other States in the Union.

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) – Jun 24, 1866

A President Taylor – A Tailor President

April 14, 2010

Bottom of cartoon says, “The Tennessee Mule on a Rampage. I Veto Nine Tailors to Make a Man.”

Surface Diggings & Siftings.

WE HAVE HAD A PRESIDENT TAYLOR, and now we have a tailor president. Little did the present incumbent think when following the peaceful profession of his youth, that his goose would one day hang so high, and that he, who once aided in dressing up his Southern patrons, would one day be called to assist in dressing down the same individuals, and in giving particular fits to so many rebellious customers.

The war has come to its close (clothes.) The “repossession” of the Southern forts has left enough dead men in the breaches — let all breaches now be mended.

Our President’s previous life has been but sew, sew; but if he pants for fame, he is vested with sufficient authority to clothe the naked and bleeding South with the garment of mercy, so that our peace may not prove to be a patched-up one, but a blessing to all parties.

Although not of a character so benign as his predecessor, may he conduct his administration with such vigor as to make it appear that there be nine men in the Presidential chair, instead of only the ninth part of one!

The Golden Era (San Francisco, California) Jan 21, 1866