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The largest of the Pacific coast States; noted for its admirable climate, its production of gold, its large commerce, and its great yield of fruit,

State seal of California.

which now finds a market even in Europe. In recent years the production of gold has decreased, but there has been a remarkable development of other mineral resources, especially petroleum. Reports on the foreign trade in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1900, showed at the ports of Humboldt, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, imports of merchandise, $49,441,831; exports, $43,361,078; imports of gold and silver coin and bullion, $13,734,348; exports, $9,528,309. The production of the precious metals in the calendar year of 1899 was: Gold, $15,197,800; silver, $494,580. In 1900 the total assessed valuation of taxable property was $1,218,228,588, and the total bonded debt was $2,281,500, nearly all of which was held in State educational funds. The population in 1890 was 1,208,130; in 1900, 1,485,053.

In 1534 Hernando Cortez (q. v.) sent Hernando de Grijalva on an errand of discovery to the Pacific coast, who probably saw the peninsula of California. Twenty-five years before the Spanish leader discovered the country, a romance was published in Spain in which are described the doings of a pagan queen of Amazons, who brought from the “right hand of the Indies” her allies to assist the infidels in their attack upon Constantinople. The romance was entitled Esplandian, the name of an imaginary Greek emperor, living in Stamboul, the ancient name of Constantinople. The Amazonian queen was named Calafia, whose kingdom, rich in gold, diamonds, and pearls, was called California. The author probably derived the name from Calif, the title of a successor of Mohammed. The author says: “Know that on the right hand of the Indies there is an island, called California, very close to the Terrestrial Paradise, and it was peopled by black women without any man among them, for they lived in the fashion of the Amazonia. They were of strong and hardy bodies, of ardent courage, and of great force. Their island was the strongest in all the world, with its steep cliffs and rocky shore. Their arms were all of gold, and so was the harness of the wild beasts which they tamed and rode. For in the whole island there was no metal but gold. They lived in caves wrought out of the rocks with much labor. They had many ships with which they sailed out to other countries to obtain booty.” Both [34]

A California Vineyard.

Cortez and Grijalva believed, as everybody then believed, that they were in the neighborhood of the coast of Asia; and, as the aspect of the country corresponded with the description in the romance, they named the peninsula California. In the Gulf of California were found pearls; so the description of the country of the black Amazons——a country filled with gold and Pearls—suited the actual condition of the region explored.

Although parts of the present territory of the State are believed to have been discovered about 1534, settlements in Old or Lower California were first made in 1683 by Jesuit missionaries. New or Upper California was discovered later, and the first mission there (San Diego) was planted in 1768. For many years the government of California, temporal and spiritual, was under the control of monks of the Order of St. Francis. It was not until about 1770 that the Bay of San Francisco was discovered, and in 1776 a mission was established there. At the beginning of the nineteenth century eighteen missions had been established in California, with over 15,000 converts. The Spanish power in California was overthrown by the Mexican revolution in 1822, when the government was permanently secularized. In 1843-46 many thousand emigrants from the United States settled in California; and when the war with Mexico broke out in 1846, the struggle for the mastery in that Pacific coast province speedily ended in victory for the Americans in 1847. By the treaty of peace at Guadalupe Hidalgo (q. v.), California and other territory were ceded to the United States. In the month of February 1848, gold was discovered in California, on the Sacramento River, by John W. Marshall, who was working for John A. Sutter (q. v.), and as the news spread abroad, thousands of enterprising and energetic men flocked thither, not only from the United States, but from South America, Europe, and China, to secure the precious metal. Very soon there was a mixed population of all sorts of characters in California of at least 250,000 persons. The military governor called a convention to meet at Monterey, Sept. 1, 1849, to frame a State constitution. One was formed by which slavery was to be excluded from the [35] new State; and this document revived in Congress, in great intensity, debates on the subject of slavery in 1849-50. See Kearny, Stephen Watts; Stockton, Robert field.

Prior to the assembly of the constitutional convention the people of California, in convention at San Francisco, had voted against the admission of the slave-labor system in that country. The constitution adopted at Monterey also had a provision to exclude slavery from the State. Thus came into political form the crude elements of a State, the birth and maturity of which seems like a strange dream. All had been accomplished within twenty months from the time when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. Under this constitution John Charles Fremont (q. v.), and William Gwin (q. v.) were chosen by the State legislature United States Senators. Edward Gilbert and G. H. Wright were elected to the House of Representatives. When Fremont and Gwynn went to Washington, they took the State constitution with them, and presented a petition (February, 1850) asking for the admission of California into the Union as a free and independent State. The article in its constitution which excluded slavery became a cause of violent debate in Congress and of bitter feeling in the South against the people of the North. The Union, so strong in the hearts of the people, was shaken to its centre. Mr. Clay again appeared as a compromiser for the sake of peace and union. It seemed that some compromise was needed to avoid serious difficulty, for already the representatives of the slave interest had taken action, and the Southern members in Congress boldly declared their intention to break up the Union if California should be admitted under such a constitution. A joint resolution was adopted to appoint a committee of thirteen (six Northern and six Southern members, who should choose the thirteenth) to consider the subject of a territorial government for California New Mexico, and Utah, with instructions to report a plan of compromise embracing all the questions thus arising out of the subject of slavery. Henry Clay was made chairman of that committee. He had already presented (Jan. 25, 1850) a plan of compromise to the South, and spoke eloquently in favor of it (Feb. 5); and on May 8 he reported a plan of compromise in a series of bills, intended to be a pacification. This was called the omnibus bill (q. v.). It made large concessions to the slave-holders, and yet it was not satisfactory to them. For months a violent discussion of the compromise act was carried on throughout the country, and it was denounced upon diametrically opposite grounds. It finally became a law, and on Sept. 9, 1850, California was admitted into the Union as a State.

So lawless were a large class of the population at this time, that nothing but the swift operations of “Vigilance committees” could control them and preserve social order. The first vigilance committee of San Francisco was organized in 1851. Finally, these committees assumed

Cathedral rocks, Yosemite Valley.


Big trees of California.

the functions and powers of judges and executives, but under proper regulations, which guaranteed all accused persons a fair trial. Dangerous men of every kind were arrested, tried, hanged, transported, or acquitted. The tribunal became a “terror to evil-doers.” Late in 1856 the vigilance committee in San Francisco surrendered its powers to the regularly constituted civil authority. California did not furnish any troops during the Civil War, owing to its isolated position. The Central Pacific Railroad was completed May 12, 1869, thus connecting California with the Mississippi Valley and the Atlantic seaboard. Since then the progress of the State has been phenomenal.

From 1767 up to 1821, California being under Spanish rule, ten governors were appointed by that power. From 1822 until 1845, being under Mexican domination, her governors (twelve) were appointed from Mexico. From 1846 her governors have been as follows:

California republic Governor.

John C. Fremont 1846

Provisional or military governors under the United States.

Corn. Robert F. Stockton1847
John C. Fremont1847
Gen. Stephen W. Kearny1847
Richard B. Mason1847 to 1849
Gen. Persifer F. Smith1849
Bennett Riley1849

State governors.

Peter H. Burnett1849 to 1851
John McDougall1851 to 1852
John Bigler1852 to 1856
J. Neely Johnson1856 to 1858
John B. Weller1858 to 1860
Milton S. Latham1860
John G. Downey1860 to 1862
Leland Stanford1862 to 1863
Frederick F. Low1863 to 1867
Henry H. Haight1867 to 1871
Newton Booth1871 to 1875
Romnaldo Pacheco1875
William Irwin1875 to 1880
George C. Perkins1880 to 1883
George Stoneman1883 to 1887
Washington Bartlett1887
Robert W. Waterman1887 to 1891
Henry H. Markhan1891 to 1895
J. H. Budd1895 to 1899
Henry T. Gage1899 to 1903

United States Senators.

Name.No. of CongressTerm.
John C. Fremont31st1849 to 1851
William M. Gwin31st to 36th1849 to 1861
John B. Weller32d to 34th1851 to 1857
David C. Broderick35th to 36th1857 to 1859
Henry P. Hann36th1859
Milton S. Latham36th to 37th1860 to 1863
James A. McDougall37th to 39th1861 to 1867
John Conners38th to 40th1863 to 1869
Cornelius Cole40th to 42d1867 to 1873
Eugene Casserly41st to 43d1869 to 1873
John S. Hager43d1874
Aaron A. Sargent43d to 45th1873 to 1879
Newton Booth44th to 46th1875 to 1881
James T. Farley46th to 48th1879 to 1885
John F. Miller47th to 49th1881 to 1887
Leland Stanford49th to 53d1885 to 1893
George Hearst50th to 51st1887 to 1891
Charles N. Felton52d to 53d1891 to 1893
Stephen M. White53d to 56th1893 to 1899
George C. Perkins53d1893 to ——
Thomas R. Bard56th to ——1899 to ——


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