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found suitable for resting purposes. Of course we were all right, but



Mausard-Collier Eng. Co. A MEADOW ON ROARING RIVER.

they seemed to get out of breath so easily ! However, we tarried with
them, and enjoyed the ever-expanding view. At last we stood beside
the little stone monument, almost 15,000 feet above the ocean's surface,
awed into silence by the sublimity of our surroundings. The Summit

Behre Photo Process Co.



is at the extreme eastern edge of the peak, which is so precipitous that
a stone thrown outward from the monument would probably drop half
a mile before striking the mountain's side. Miniature lakes, born of
the snow-fields, glisten in the depths of every canon; while one — an
icy emerald caught in a rugged setting — lies forever frozen in a sheltered
nook at Whitney's base. But a few miles away slumbers the desert,
10,000 feet below. Beyond the hazy north, on Mount Lyell's sides, the
Owen's river rises, and mile after mile its thirsty banks of sand stretch
along the valley to their end in the bitter waters of Owen's Lake, which
flashes in the sun like a sheet of burnished metal. Occasional oases of
green, formed by the application of water to naturally fertile soil, at
this distance but serve to accentuate the general appearance of lifeless-
ness. Beyond the Panamint range to the east, faintly visible through
the quivering air, lies the terrible Death Valley, fed by Furnace creek


and bordered beyond by the Funeral Mountains. Even here, far from
enthusiastic man, Nature maintains California's right to the superlative.
Standing upon the highest point of land in the United States, but seventy
miles away is the lowest surface on both Americas, hundreds of feet
below the ocean's level. Here, in August, perpetual snow and ice sur-
round us. There, the hottest place known in the world, the thermometer
registers 134 degrees in the shade.

Eight miles west of us stretches the Great Western Ridge ; twenty
miles of snow-clad granite, varying in height from 10,000 to 14,000 feet,
from whose farther slopes springs the Kaweah river. Between that wall
and our own lies the watershed of the headwaters of the Kern river,
perhaps 4,000 feet directly below us, and deepening southward into the
wonderful canon of the Kern. To the north a ridge connects the two
parallel crests, and divides the Kern from the King's river country.
From its elevated stretches, enormous snake-like moraines mark the


Behre Photo. Process Co. TH E SUM M IT OF MT. WHITNEY.

course of ancient ice rivers, until hidden by the noble forest that rolls
in one grand sweep of billowy green far to the south. Innumerable
rivulets frolic for a time in the shaded swales of undulating table-land ;
but shortly gathering into one united volume, plunge into the canon's
depths. Six miles to the southeast lies Sheep Mountain, almost identical
in shape with Mount Whitney, and but little lower. Olancha, a little
farther, also reaches a high altitude ; and then the range rapidly dwin-
dles, and soon sinks into the burning sands of the Mojave desert. Seven
miles northward Mounts Tyndall and Williamson rise from [our crest.
Two gigantic obelisks of Nature's carving, her ice chisel has cut cruelly
deep. Tyndall's shattered sides are barely accessible, while Williamson
is hardly more than a group of splintered towers and minarets. Con-
siderably beyond these forbidding peaks lies the group guarding the
marvelous King's River Cation. East of them are the summits marking
the Kearsarge pass, which is perhaps the highest traveled pass on the



continent, being over 12,000 feet in elevation. Beyond the various
points mentioned, the ranges extend in endless confusion of summit,
canon and timbered slope, until the bewildered eye welcomes the
obscurity of distance. From Whitney five peaks over 14,000 feet in
elevation are plainly seen, and over fifty that exceed 13,000; and, as few
of the intervening canons are less than 3,000 feet deep, the stupendous
character of the scenery rnay be imagined.

Unheedful of the approaching storm, we protracted our gaze upon
yawning abyss and granite dome, rainless desert and field of snow.
Confidential Nature was revealing grand secrets to loving subjects, and
the chilling air and gathering clouds warned in vain. Then the beauti-
ful snow-crystals fell, and in the silent might of numbers compelled a
regretful farewell. Reluctantly we descended the mountain, stumbling
through the gloom of the storm. Unmindful were we of the falling
snow and, lower down, the soaking rain. Not until we stood around
the roaring camp-fire below and watched the shifting clouds of the
parting storm chase the shadows from grand old Whitney's summit was
the spell broken. And then, having seen the grandest of all, we turned
our faces homeward.

South Pasadena, Cal.


IV: Our First American Jewelers.


HERE are but two points— and these purely
empiric and accidental — wherein the Aztecs
and the Incas, whose fame pervades all
romance throughout the civilized world,
had a whit the better of a quiet Indian
people in the United States of whom we
have never heard the thousandth part as
much. One of those points, it is true,
chances to be the one most eloquent to
a civilization whose brains more and
' more gravitate to its pockets ; but to the
student it is a very trivial advantage.
The Incas had indeed risen just a little
higher than unaided aborigines have ever
risen elsewhere, though the Mayas and
the Aztecs and Pueblos were close behind.
The first had stumbled upon the use of
metals, particularly the docile ones. Iron
was unknown, but gold, silver and bronze
they had learned to work, and it was
purely the adventitious splendor given them by their ornaments that
invested them with such a glamour in the eyes of the discoverers and of
the whole reading world since. The enormous fortunes gathered in the

Mansard-Collier Eng. Co. Copyright 1891 by C F. Linnm




conquest of Peru, and the fact that, after 350 years of searching, fortunes
are still taken out from their hiding-places in that strange land, show
easily why Peril has always remained so much more romantic than even
Mexico, where the precious metals were comparatively scarce. It is
true that the Incas had invented also a packbeast, so that for the first
time in the history of the New World something fairly to be called war
as opposed to desultory bushwhacking became possible ; but few students,
even, have noted the significance of this fact ; and as to the popular
estimate of Peru it does not figure at all therein. The Inca religion was
the same strange, material polytheism or fetichism of all Indians ; their
social organization was the universal Indian clan-built economy ; their
fabled politics were nothing more nor less than those of Indians all over
the New World. The only reason on earth why the Peruvians are on
every tongue and the Pueblos practically unheard-of, is that one tribe
had gold and the other had not.


It is a curious historical fact that prior to the Spanish conquest of
America, three centuries and a half ago, the use of metals was absolutely
unknown to any aborigine north of what is now Mexico. This is true
without exception, despite numerous irresponsible stories to the con-
trary. A few tribes had found the native copper of the Great Lakes,
and now and then it was pounded into some crude shape ; but no one
dreamed what fire would do for it. As for gold and silver, they were
not even known. So whatever wrought metal ornaments are found in
aboriginal ruins in the United States come from the Conquest, or later.

The wicked Spaniards, who built hundreds of magnificent churches
for the Indians, taught them as much of material as of spiritual things.
They gave the savages European seeds and improved the methods of
farming. They brought horses, cows, sheep and other domestic animals
to the Western Hemisphere, which had no such thing before. They
taught weaving of the new staples — some tribes already wove cotton.
And another thing the heartless Spaniards taught these peoples of the





stone age.was the use of metals. Ever since, silversmithing has been
an important art with several of the largest Indian tribes in the United
States. It seems curious to think of this ; for our own achievements in
the same line are scant. The Spaniard implanted forever, in almost his

MUSICO'S FORGE. Pencil-sketch by H R. Poore.


whole aboriginal empire, a new language, a new religion, and hundreds
of customs. The only bud of civilization we have ever succeeded in
grafting upon our Indians is — whiskey.

Within our own area the Indians who took most cleverly to the use of
metals were the Pueblos and the Navajos ; and both have kept the art
ever since. To this day the silversmith in a Pueblo town, or in some
wild corner of the Navajo reservation, is an important man in the
economies of his tribe. Other smiths there are not. The stubborn
metals they have never ventured to work extensively. It was too diffi-
cult and not so cheap as to barter for tools. As for gold, it has never
been cared for by the aborigines of the Southwest. They do not deem
it pretty ; and even as money, only the educated of them will take it.
There lurks here a fine sarcasm for a latter-day superstition.

Some of these men, absolutely untutored except by tradition, almost
without facilities, show remarkable taste and skill. A little mud forge,
a hammer, a simple punch, a three-cornered file, a stone or bit of iron
for an anvil, a little clay for a crucible and some solder, and brains —
and there is your aboriginal smith.

With these crude appliances he turns out admirable rings, bracelets,
earrings, buttons, belt-discs, rosary crosses, and even hollow beads. His
workmanship is far more advanced — though therefore less character-
istic — than that of the prehistoric Inca smith who had no European
instruction. He had a mighty good teacher — the artificers who made a
better gun in Spain ioo years ago than was made in the United States 50
years ago ; who invented the superb Eibar-work, and did such staunch
smithing in every hamlet-smithy of their colonies — these were masters
worth while. And the natural aptitude of the Indian for this branch of
work was proved by the readiness with which he learned the lesson and
the permanency with which he has retained it.

In the Western Hemisphere there are today no other peoples who
wear so much jewelry as the Pueblos and Navajos. Seven or eight
bracelets, as many rings, a huge rosary and pair of earrings (all of silver),
accompanied by several yards of the costliest coral beads — such an out-
fit for one person is rather modest than excessive ; and for feast days is
likely to be suplemented.

All this jewelry is made of coin silver ; melted, run in an ingot,
hammered to shape, punched and filed to the due pattern. Great inge-
nuity is shown in range of form and pattern, though always, of course,
within Indian notions. A very good friend of mine, the best silver-
smith among the Navajos, made to my order once a bracelet in shape of
a rattlesnake. The Pueblos revere the crotalus, but to the Navajos he is
" bad medicine " — and his people beat poor Chit-chi nearly to death,
destroyed his hut and made way with the obnoxious symbol. It is
saddening to see what superstition will do for people. But I was cheered
a few months later. An American friend of mine gave his educated
wife a beautiful watch for Christmas ; and she returned it because it was
set with opals.

A Historic Figure.

,EN. JOHN MANSFIELD, who died May 6th, 1896, was a man
whose share in the modern history of Southern California merits
honorable remembrance. Physically one of the stateliest figures
that ever graced the city of his adoption, his commanding presence, his
fine head and face, his courtly, old-school manners — these were in keep-
ing with the man, whose character was no less distinguished than his
appearance. Both were of a type which certainly does not seem to multi-
ply in present conditions of public life. He was the old-time gentle-
man and scholar ; a public man to whom the most hardened heeler
would scarce have dared whisper a shady proposition ; a lawyer who


never forgot that manhood comes even before the profession ; a citizen
who in simple truth deserved well of the republic.

Gen. Mansfield was born in Mendon, N. Y., in 1822, had an academic
education, and entered the practice of law at Portage, Wis. He entered
the Civil War in '61 as captain of the Second Wisconsin Volunteers ;
served with distinction in nearly all the battles of the Army of the
Potomac, from the first Bull Run to Gettysburg, where he was seriously
wounded ; lay four months in Libby Prison ; was wounded again in the
Wilderness ; and after successive promotions for gallantry, came out of
the war a brigadier-general. He served well as marshal of Washington ;
and later as provost-marshal of Fredericksburg. In 1871 he came to
Southern California and settled in Los Angeles as a lawyer. He founded
the Daily Republican here. In 1878 he was a delegate to the Second
Constitutional Convention of California ; and later was elected Lieuten-
ant-Governor of the State, on the ticket with Gov. (now Senator) Per-
kins. He was one of the founders and presidents of the Southern Cali-
fornia Historical Society ; and for several years was a trustee of the
State Normal School. In all these diverse responsibilities he was the
same high-minded, clear-minded, forceful man ; a man who left his im-
press upon whatever he touched. He was a notable figure of a worthy
past, still vital and significant in our time ; and this magazine, which is
not given to cultivating live dignitaries, is glad to give this leaf to one
who has gone forward.


Photo, by Putna


The Gold Placers of Los Angeles:


O the gold seekers of the early 'Fifties Los Angeles
was known as a cow county. The gold miner was
the aristocrat of that period and the pastoral people
of Southern California were looked upon by the
Argonauts as financial if not social pariahs.

The seekers after the golden fleece who came to
California by the southern routes, poured into Los
Angeles by the thousands through the Cajon Pass,
through the San Gorgonio, and by the way of Warner's ranch. Bleared

W*~* I -i B*


=-« »


Commercial En(r. Co.


by C. F. L.

and half-blinded by the burning sands of the desert, and worn out with
months of travel over the arid alkaline plains, they reached sleepy Los
Angeles in no mood to appreciate the salubrity of its climate or the fer-
tility of its soil. They saw the hills and plains covered with thousands
of cattle. They found the inhabitants calmly indifferent to the mad
rush for gold. To the gold seekers such a country had no attractions.


'4M <


Commeroial Eng. Co.
• See Frontispiece.


Photo by C. F. L.


They were not seeking climate, and they had no use for any soil that
was not mixed with gold dust. So they hurried on over the mountains.
Few if any of them knew that in the canons and creeks of the despised
"cow county" the first gold ever discovered in California had been
found ; that the first " mining rush " ever known in California had been
to the foot-hills of that same cow county.

f The first authenticated discovery of gold in California was in territory
now included in Los Angeles county. It was made by Francisco Lopez,
(for many years mayordomo of the San Fernando Mission) in June, 1841,
in the San Feliciano Canon. This canon is on the San Francisco Rancho,
and is about forty miles northwesterly from Los Angeles city and about
eight miles westerly from the town of Newhall. Don Abel Stearns
gives this account of the discovery :

"Lopez, with a companion while in search of some stray horses, about midday stop-
ped under some trees and tied their horses to feed. While resting in the shade, Lopez
with his sheath knife dug up some wild onions, and in the dirt discovered a piece of
gold. Searching further he found more. On his return to town he showed these
pieces to his friends, who at once declared there must be a placer of gold there."

Prospecting began at once. Placers were found and the first mining
rush in the history of California began. Col. Warner says :

" The news of this discovery soon spread among the inhabitants, from Santa Bar-
bara to Los Angeles, and in a few weeks hundreds of people were engaged in washing
and winnowing the sands of these gold fields. . . . The discoveries of gold placers
in that year embraced the greater part of the country drained by the Santa Clara river
from a point fifteen or twenty miles from its mouth to its source, and easterly beyond
them to Mount San Bernardino."

The first parcel of California gold dust ever coined at the United
States Mint at Philadelphia, was taken from these mines by the late
Alfred Robinson, and carried in a sailing vessel around Cape Horn. It
consisted of 18.34 ounces — value after coining, $344,75, or over $19 to the
ounce ; a very superior quality of gold dust.

As to the yield of the San Fernando placers (as these mines were com-
monly called) it is impossible now to obtain definite information. Wm.
Heath Davis in his Sixty Years in California gives the amount at $80,000
to $100,000 for the first two years after the discovery. He states that
Melius at one time shipped $5,000 worth of dust to Boston on the ship
Alert. Bancroft says that "by December, 1843, two thousand ounces of
gold had been taken from the San Fernando mines." Don Antonio Coro-
nel informed the writer that he with the assistance of three Indian labor-
ers in 1842, took out $600 worth of dust in two months.

There was a great scarcity of water in the diggings and the methods of
extracting the gold were crude and wasteful. One of the most common
was panning, or washing the dirt in a batea or bowl-shaped Indian bas-
ket. These mines were worked continuously from the time of their dis-
covery in 1841 until the American conquest in 1847. Tne discovery of
gold in Coloma in January, 1848. drew away the miners from the San
Fernando placers. During the flush times of gold mining from 1848 to
1854, very little work was done in the Los Angeles placers.

In the fall of 1854 began the Kern river excitement — one of the most
famous mining rushes in the history of gold mining. Gold was dis-


covered on the head waters of the Kern. Reports were spread abroad
of the fabulous richness of the mines and the "rush was on." For a
time it seemed as if the northern mines would be depopulated. From
Stockton to the mines, a distance of three hundred miles, for weeks the
plains of the San Joaquin were literally speckled with honest miners on
foot, on horseback, on stages, and in wagons bound for the mines.
Every steamer down the coast came loaded to the guards with miners,
merchants, gamblers, and adventurers of all kinds, bound for the new
El Dorado via Los Angeles. The sleepy old metropolis of the cow
counties awoke to find itself transformed into a hustling mining camp.
Business in mining supplies was brisk and times were lively in other
directions. The Southern Californian of March 7, 1855 says: "Last
Sunday night was a brisk night for killing. Four men were shot and
killed, and several wounded in shooting affrays." These motley collec-
tions of gold hunters made their way over the Tehachepi summit to the

The mines though rich were limited and the disappointed miners beat
their way back to civilization as best they could. Some of them turned
their attention to prospecting in the mountains south of the Tehachapi
and many new discoveries were made. In April, 1855, a party entering
the mountains by way of the Cajon Pass penetrated to the head waters of
the San Gabriel. Here in some of the canons they found good pros-
pects ; but, the water failing, they were temporarily compelled to sus-
pend operations. The Santa Anita placers, about fifteen miles from this
city, were discovered and for a time worked secretly — the miners making
from $6 to $10 each per day.

Work was actively resumed in the San Fernando diggings. Francisco
Gracia working a gang of Indians in 1855 took out $65,000. One nugget
worth $1900 was found. During 1856 and 1857 mining and prospecting
were continued. In 1858 rich diggings were struck on the San Gabriel-
Mining operations were begun on a more extended scale. The Santa
Anita Mining Company was organized ; D. Marchessault, president ;
V. Beaudry, treasurer ; capital, $50,000. A ditch four miles long was cut
around the foot of the mountains. Hydraulic works were erected. Feb-
ruary 15, 1859, when the works were completed, the company gave a
sumptuous dinner to invited guests from the city. The success of the en-
terprise was toasted in bumpers of champagne, and wine and wit flowed
freely. These mines paid handsomely for several years.

Dnring the year 1859 the canon of the San Gabriel was prospected for
forty miles, and "the color " was obtained in every instance. Some of
the bar claims were quite rich — as high as $8 to the pan being obtained
in some places. From a hill claim four men took out $80 in one day.
Two Mexicans with a common wooden bowl or batea washed out $90 in
two days. Two hydraulic companies were taking out $1000 a week . In
July, 300 men were at work in the canon and all reported doing well. A
stage ran from the city to the mines. Three stores at Eldoradoville sup-
plied the miners with the necessaries of life ; and several saloons, with
gambling accompaniments, the luxuries.


The editor of the Star in the issue of December 3d, 1859, indulges in
roseate dreams of the mineral wealth of Los Angeles. He says .•

" Gold placers are now being worked from Fort Tejon to San Bernardino. Rich
deposits have been discovered in the northern part of the county. The San Gabriel
mines have been worked very successfully this season. The Santa Anita placers are
given forth their gulden harvest. Miners are at worki n the San Fernando hills rolling out
the gold, and in the hills beyond discoveries have been made which prove the whole
district to be one grand placer."

After that the deluge. The rainy season began early in December.
For three day and nights it rained continuously. Nearly a foot of water
fell. In the narrow canon of the San Gabriel river the waters rose to an
unprecedented height and swept everything before them. The miner's
wheels, sluices, long toms, wing dams, coffer dams and all other dams
went floating off toward the sea.

The year i860 was a prosperous one for the miners, noth withstanding
the disastrous flood of December, 1859. The increased water supply
afforded an opportunity to work dry claims. Some of the strikes have
the sound of the flush days of '49 : " Baker & Smith realized from their
claim $800 in eight days." " Driver & Co. washed out $350 of dust in
two hours."

In the spring of 1862, Wells, Fargo & Co. were shipping to San
Francisco $12,000 of gold dust a month by steamer and probably as
much more was sent by other shippers or taken by private parties ; all
this the product of the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Anita
placers. In the San Gabriel cation during the early Seventies, hydraulic
mining was conducted on an extensive scale under the superintendence
of experienced miners ; and large quantities of gold were taken out.

The yield of the Los Angeles placers can be ascertained only approxi-
mately. Major Ben. C. Truman in his Semi-Tropical California (a
book written in 1874) says :

" During the past eighteen years, Messrs. Ducommun and Jones, merchants of Los
Angeles, have purchased in one way and another over two millions of dollars' worth of
gold dust taken from the placer claims of the San Gabriel river, while it is fair to pre-
sume that among other merchants and to parties in San Francisco has been distributed

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