Charles Frederick Holder.

The Californian (Volume 4) online

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Our contribution to the State ex-
penses exceeded any of these as far
back as 1889. It is absurd to sup-
pose that a reasonably planned State
Government could not do large public
service for our section on a revenue
similar to that required for great States
of over a million population, and with



even less State taxation than we
now pay. We certainly would not
readopt for a new State the present
Constitution of California, and there
is probably sense enough here to get
up a reasonable tax system, leaving
out most of the unsatisfactory personal


property taxes so costly in collection.
For one thing we might get rid of the
tax on ships, and thus honestly en-
courage commercial competition and
enterprise, instead of choking it to
death or driving it to tricks of flag

The Pacific Coast has only three
State Governments with six Senators.
The Atlantic Coast has fourteen State
Governments and twenty-eight Sena-
tors. To these fourteen should be
\ added the great State of Pennsylvania.
This State has indeed no coast line,
but it does a large maritime business
through the Delaware, and should be
counted with her Senators with the
others, making fifteen States and
thirty Senators. Anyone can see
what a difference in influence and
Vol, IV— 26

consideration such a condition must
create. Of our Pacific Coast, exclud-
ing Alaska, California governs more
than half. If we take a straight line
running from the Oregon line to San
Diego, and compare it with a straight
line run south from Eastport, Maine,
on the Atlantic, we will find that the
California coast line equals that of ten
Atlantic States and part of another.
California's straight line would ex-
tend from Eastport, Maine, to Albe-
marle Sound in North Carolina,
taking another comparison, it would
extend from New York City to Jack-
sonville, Florida. #

If the territory now comprising
California was to-day seeking admis-
sion to the Federal Union, there can
be little doubt that at least two St.
would be asked for. A reasonable
person free from the old State associa-
tions considering this division ques-
tion from all sides, considering the
perhaps wise weakness of our State
Governments compared to the Federal
organization, considering California's
great size, its long coast line, its
diversity of interests and the proper
influence of the Pacific Coast in the
Federal Senate, could only advise

There is a State sentiment, a pride
and a glory in California as a unit. A
sentiment by no means confined to the
North, but one in which we of the
South share — at least the older set-
tlers who have been here six months
or so.

Although convinced that State
division is for the best interests of
both Northern and Southern Califor-
nia, and for the whole Pacific Coast, I
still must confess to a pride in Cali-
fornia as a unit, and a sentiment for
the name as it stands. I have been
over the State from the Oregon line
to Tia Juana in Mexico, and know
something of its attraction and charms,
something of its vast interests, its
glorious climate and its splendid
scenery. If I were guaranteed to-day
an income and congenial occupation
suited in each case to the standard of



life in the city, to be chosen and
obliged to choose some city in the
world for a permanent residence, I
would select San Francisco without a
moment's hesitation. (This, of course,
barring Southern California). While
the climate of San Francisco is defect-
ive for agricultural products, it is, in
my opinion, by far better for humani-
ty than that of any other city of three
hundred thousand or more inhabitants,
on the globe.

The desire for State Division in the
South is not from loving California
less, nor even from loving Southern
California more. It arises from a
conscientious conviction that State
Division is demanded by the highest
interests of all parties. There can
scarcely be a doubt that a re-submis-
sion of the question of State Division
to the voters of Southern California,
would result in a more overwhelming
approval than it received in 1859.
At that time the proposed new State
was deemed securely democratic; now
the face of the returns shows it to be
republican. If it was a politician's
move in 1859, it is not so now. I am
a democrat, and as such could expect
nothing in the way of influence in a
republican State. State Division has
no politician backing — the desire for
it arises from our real interests. It is
a long and tedious journey from any
part of Southern California to the
State Capital, or from there to us.
From most of our country it is a more
arduous journej r than from New York
to Chicago. This is but one of
many hardships and inconveniences
that our present political union with
Northern California entails upon us.
So great are these in the aggregate
that should California never be multi-
plied, the approaching voting pre-
dominance of the South will surely
demand a removal of the State Capital
to the neighborhood of Los Angeles,
where it used to be.

People unfamiliar with the facts
may think this voting predominence
of the South a joke or chimera to
scare the timid Northern taxpayer.

But it is growing into a very real
reincarnation of those original" Cali-
fornia conditions, when Los Angeles
did the Salt Lake business over nat-
ural grades, held the political capital,
and was the social center of the State.
We are coming up faster than most in
the North are aware of, and in. more
ways than one. The last Federal
census credits San Francisco with
nearly 300,000 people, and Los An-
geles with 50,000. The last State
school-census taken a short time ago,
credits the increase of school children
to be something over 1,300 for each
city, with Los Angeles nearly one
hundred ahead. Here is something
to reflect on: a city credited with 50,-
000 having a larger increase of school
children than a sister city of near
300,000 people — not, be it under-
stood, a greater relative increase, but
a greater absolute increase.

It is not then altogether one- lungers
who are sending us along so fast, but
it is our prolific climate also. We are
great on climate. The returns of the
Los Angeles Clearing-house show
weekly percentages of increase of ten,
twenty, forty and even over ninety
per cent. So that the unimportant
dollar is increasing like the essentially
important American child. I mention
these matters in no spirit of vain-
glory, but merely as a subject for the
investigation and thought of the
Northern taxpayer or politician. If
we get back the balance of power be-
low Tehachipi or Fresno it may be the
Northerner's ox that will be gored,
and not being used to goring as ours
is it may make a difference. It may
be the Northern statesman who will
be as tired of standing in the cold
shadow of political neglect as our poli-
ticians till so lately have been. It may
be the Northern taxpayer who will be
looking longingly after his dollars,
going to Los Angeles as we have for
so long after ours over the looped
Tehachipi to Sacramento.

Thus the question of wise policy
arises for the San Franciscan. If he
waits till we hold the power now held



in the North, it may well turn out to
be he who will struggle for a division.
And he cannot but surmise that
what he, dominant, will not consid-
er will not be considered in the
South, dominant in its turn. No
wrong impression concerning the
causes of the still inchoate wish of the
South for a State Government should
be held in the North. It does not
grow from the fact that Mr. White is
the first Federal Senator resident
south of Santa Clara, not from the fact
that for so long we have had so little
of our personality in the Executive or
on the Supreme bench, not from the
fact of sending so much money North
and getting so little in return, not
from the fact that Del Valle's Normal
school was our first State institution
after so many years of neglect. The
wish is due to the real reason of these
and many other cumulative causes of
complaint. The trouble is that we
are too far from the life, and too much
separated from the interests centering
in San Francisco and Sacramento.

We appreciate the superiorities of
the North. We know that Napa
makes a claret with which we cannot
compete. We know that our grapes
are naturally productive of port and
sherry types and not of the lighter table
wines. We know that in fruits the
North excels us in cherries and in
other lines, just as we excel in the
lime, lemon, guava and orange. We
know too that in many products both
sections are equally fortunate.
Amongst them may be named barley
and the grains (except oats) prunes,
apricots, peaches, etc.

We in the South are glad of the
achievements of the North. But all
this appreciation and respect does not
reconcile us to look forward to an eter-
nal tutelage and government from a
quarter far from us in time and dis-
tance, and in which we know from a
long and painful experience our con-
ditions are imperfectly understood,
and our interests heeded more on com-
pulsion than on intelligent approval.

Southern California must have a

complete set of State institutions.
Take for instance that unhappy ne-
cessity, a penitentiary. At present we
are obliged to send our criminals and
officers with them to San Quentin or
Folsom. This entails upon u^ a vex-
atious expense. I cite this illusl
tion because it may possibly strike
the Northern statesman that it i-
great gain to that section to have all
our malefactors colonized on that com-
munity. Thus he may more readily
recognize that if we are ready to beat
our own burdens in this and other
things, it cannot be a bad policy to
give us the freedom to do it without
taxing the North to share the

Very few Northern Californians eve*
visit Southern California. An exam-
ination of our hotel re^ inters show
them to be in an infinite minority
amongst our tourists. A few come
down from San Francisco, hardly any
one from any other part of the State.
The real fact is that the great mass of
people in Northern California do not
know Southern California and cannot
understand its needs. We are too far
off and neither in the line of its busi-
ness or its travel. Our growth is
largely deemed a sort of gas-bag affair
with a consumptive playing acrobat
on the trapeze. In this the North is
as much mistaken as the sport at one
of the great Saratoga boat-races. In
that event, amongst the dainty and
dressy Eastern c r ews, competed a
rough but earnest Western one from
Michigan. Their looks and splashy
stroke excluded them from sporting
consideration. But in the great thi
mile race, their energy and endurance
vanquished the old favorites.

After the contest the sport, with the
deference and respect given to suc-
cess, went down to the Michigan boat-
house, and after many compliment
the crews' splendid performance,
admiringly asked the captain what
name he gave to this new and conquer-
ing stroke. "Wall," said the cap-
tain, "I don't know much about the
name, but I guess you might call it



the Git-thar stroke." Such of our
Northern friends as will do us the
honor of a visit, though not finding
perhaps our manner or method har-
monious to their polished standards
and conservative financeering, will be
convinced that we too have the "Git-
thar stroke."

The idea that Southern California
will have more people than Northern
California within a few years will not
be taken in earnest in the North, and
perhaps not in the South just yet.
Indeed it may never be, but there is
reasonable cause to look for such a re-
sult. As everyone in California is
proud of the growth, and glad in the
good prospects of any part of this pro-
gressive community, I will venture to
point to some of the reasons for this
expectation. Let me say first, how-
ever, that I do not believe the readers
of The Californian desire an ex-
haustive review of our resources. Fig-
ures on freight movement and on pro-
ducts, .such as walnuts, lemons,
oranges, beans, winter vegetables, de-
ciduous fruits, canneries, manufactor-
ies, mines, etc., would tire everyone.

The original boom in California was
due to the Mission Fathers. These,
actuated by high religious motives,
considered also material conditions in
their methods. Their idea was to
build up self-sustaining religious com-
munities amongst the Indians. To
this end they selected what they
deemed the most productive valleys
for their work. The missions ex-
tended along the coast to Monterey,
but nowhere further inland than San
Juan Bautista. The great missions,
in numbers of neophytes as in pro-
ducts, were in the South. The mis-
sion boom was essentially Southern
Californian. Only four missions of any
importance were established north of
San Luis, and none of these were far
from the coast. This life, though so
recent in time, seems to have drifted
into a far off era, dimly remembered
in ruins and romance. This boom
died a violent death at the hands of
the Mexican revolution.

The next Californian boom was due
to the discovery of placer gold at
Sutter mill. It too, has left its ruins
and its romance. Succeeding this
came the boom due to the Comstock
bonanzas — those wonderful moun-
tains of precious metals. Nevada
made by the bonanzas now reflects
in sad shrinkage the indecorous decay
of the San Francisco Stock Exchange.

These two booms created fortunes
and ruined families. Southern Cali-
fornia had little or no part in either of

Now comes the fourth boom, the
advance heralds of which were mis-
taken a few years ago for the great
coming host who will bring it.
This boom is based on climate and
on product. Of these the first is a
permanent asset, and the second one
growing in geometrical ratio. Both
of these are veins that working will
develop and never exhaust. The
strength of our position resides in the
fact that we have the only series of
large productive valleys opening on
the Pacific Coast between Sitka and
Cape St. Lucas. This fact, with our
Southern situation and our mountain
barriers to the east and north, gives
us a climate mild in winter and mild
in summer. The soil is rich, the sun-
shine plenty, the water reservoired,
the climate temperate. We just nat-
urally have to grow. The Santa Fe
really started us. When we obtain
our Salt Lake road and our second
deep-sea harbor tributary to the rail-
road center at Los Angeles, we will
have commercial conditions in realiza-
tion that, as far as the overland route
is concerned, we have always had by
nature's hand.

Few people appreciate the rapid
development of Arizona at our door,
and fewer still know that the largest
body of the richest land in California
if not in the Union, still lies unused
in Southern California. It must have
water, and above it flows in ample
volume the Colorado River. One of
the most promising regions for pro-
duction of all the Union still stands


open to our enterprise. Our great
deserts are great plains. They hold
great possibilities for us. Their econo-
mic condition will be sit i generis and
should be dealt with here. It is no
wild flight of fancy to prophesy for
these deserts a greater population and
a greater product than that of Phar-
oah's land.

State Division is no new thing in
America. It is not exact to say that
all the lands formerly held in the West
by the old States formed an integral
part of these. But the lands held, say
by Connecticut and Virginia in Ohio
were so after a fashion, and were
merged into that great State. Be-
sides this, however, we have the for-
mation of Kentucky out of Virginia,
Tennessee out of North Carolina,
Maine out of Massachusetts, Missis-
sippi and Alabama out of Georgia,
Vermont out of New York, and West
Virginia out of Virginia. In none of
these cases were the conditions more
diverse than those of our two great
divisions in California. There is no
record that any of these regret their
new statehood, nor is there an intima-
tion that they desire, or have ever
desired to merge again into the old
State. The desire for a local self-gov-
ernment in Southern California arises
from no jealousies, no antagonisms to
Northern California, and least of all
to political place-hunting. It is the
result of economic and political neces-
sities. We need a State Government
of our own. In Federal affairs we

have our own separate officers, courts,
military department, etc., just
gon has; we have our own financial
and industrial independence as much
as Oregon has, and we have a new-
population quite as distinct from that
of Northern California as is that of
the State of Washington.

The interests of Southern California
as far as Federal affairs are concerned,
are those of California and the whole
Pacific Slope. These united Intel
can best be served 1 >y a new State adding
to our general strength at the National
Capital. Our interests locally are
diverse all over the coast. Thoa
Southern California have from the
very first been at odds with thof
Northern California. Northern Cali-
fornia was never satisfied with the
Capital at Los Angeles, nor are we
with the Capital at Sacramento, and
would not be any more so with the
Capital at San Jose.

Our federal system is a happy com-
bination of a strong union with full
provision for local management of
local affairs. It is our ambition to
secure the full benefit of this condition.
Northern and Southern California are
brothers — not one person. At present
we are united by an abnormal political
ligature that prevents the full develop-
ment and full satisfaction of either.
Both should unite to sever the hamp-
ering bond. We wish to be a Siamese
twin with you no longer; we pi
to remain always your devoted Ameri-
can brother.




UNTIL the writer was informed
that Mr. Abbot Kinney of Los
Angeles had prepared an article
for this number of the Caijfornian
favoring State Division, it was not be-
lieved the subject was being generally
discussed by our Southern friends;

nor is it now believed that the people
of Southern California favor it. Since,
however, those supporting the move-
ment are seeking the public ear, some
of the reasons why State Division is
not feasible, are submitted, that the ar-
gument in favor of it may not go forth



unchallenged. There are business,
political and social reasons why the
division of California would be unwise.
There are legal reasons why it is im-
possible. The business objections to
division apply with great force to all
sections of the State. The annual cost
of maintaining the State Government of
California is nearly $5, 000,000, while
the assessed value of all the property
of the State for the year 1892 was
$1,275,816.22. Of this amount $1,086, -
399,858 was assessed upon property in
Northern and Central California, and
$189,416,370 was assessed on property
in the counties of Los Angeles, San
Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Ven*
tura, Santa Barbara and San Luis
Obispo, the so-called Southern coun-
ties. San Luis Obispo is not in fact a
Southern county.

The total coiuity indebtedness of the
State in 1892 amounted to $6,256,-
301.77; the total indebtedness of the
seven Southern counties above named
was $1,548,487.15. The census of
1890 placed the total population of the
State a,t 1,208,132. Of this number
217,424 were in Southern California,
. and 990,706 in Central and Northern
California. It will thus be seen that less
than one-fifth of the population ot the
State is in Southern California, and
less than one-sixth of its wealth,
while one-fourth of the county in-
debtedness is chargeable to the South.
These statistics show the relative
wealth and population of the two sec-
tions, and they show also how neces-
sary each section is to the other. It
goes without saying that if the
State was divided taxation would be
largely increased. Two State govern-
ments w T ould cost more to maintain
than one, and State Division would
more than double the expense,
for the reason that new State build-
ings would have to be erected, thus
incurring additional expenditures and
causing higher taxation. The in-
crease of taxes decreases the net
income of property and necessarily
lowers its value. State Division would
therefore be a serious business experi-

ment to all the people of the State.
That it would materially affect the
value of property, there can be no
question. California is now prosper-
ous. Is it business wisdom to do or
attempt to do anything which might
unfavorably affect this universal pros-
perity ? An attempt at State Divis-
sion and failure would be bad; an at-
tempt if successful, would be even
worse. And it would be worse, not
alone for the business reasons given,
but because it would tear down a fab-
ric which has been forty-three years
in the course of construction; it would
sever the business and social ties
which for so long a time have bound
us together; it would inspire sectional
strife which would greatly retard the
growth of both sections and benefit
neither. Note the factional struggle,
the discord and the corruption which
the mere division of a county causes,
and then calmly ask. what would be the
result in a contest for State Division?


Nor do we find any reason for State
Division in the argument that one sec-
tion of the State is a restraint upon
the prosperty of the other, because
this is not true. The people of Cali-
fornia are prosperous. There is no more
striking illustration of the financial



condition of California than the
amount and character of the deposits in
our saving banks. California shows
the highest average deposits to each
depositor of any State in the Union,
namely $750.32. The next highest is
Rhode Island, amounting to $485.01
to each depositor. And this condition
does not apply to one part of the State
of California, but to all of it.

The political questions involved in
State Division would be new and ex-
perimental. With two States, there
would not only be twice the number of
public officers, with no more people in
both States than are now in one, and
no more property to tax to pay the
salaries ot these officers than we now
have, but there would be undivided
public property; there would be new
boundaries to establish; new laws to
pass; a new constitution to adopt; new
courts to create and new rights of
property to adjust; the financial struc-
ture of both sections would be torn
asunder, and the continuous and re-
munerative pursuits of the people
would be very largely imperilled — and
for what good purpose? Merely to give
a few ambitious men a chance, which
they would not otherwise have, to hold
office. We see no other reason, be-
cause State Division would not in-
crease our products, encourage our
foreign or improve our domestic
markets ; nor would it attract to
us a better class of immigration, or
advance our financial or social con-

The Southern counties have always
had their full share of the public
offices; they have been justly treated
by the State. That section now has
one United States Senator, two Con-
gressmen and the Governor. If di-
vided, under the recent Congressional
apportionment, it would only be en-
titled to one Congressman. It has
been justly taxed and taxed exactly
as the rest of the State has been taxed;
public institutions have been erected
there by the State and a fair share of
public expenditures has been made
there. No marked differences exist

between the people of the two locali-
ties; substantially the same industries
are carried on all over the State; good
fellowship prevails; local contentions,
strife and political unrest do not ex
Indeed, there is no more reason to-day,
for State Division, than there has been
at any previous period since the State
was admitted into the Union. South-
ern California may want the State
Capital. Other sections of the State
want it. But the answer to tin-
sire is, that the majority of the people
located the Capital where it now
and a majority alone can remove it.
Do our Southern brethren think a mi-
nority of the people can remove the
Capital, or even divide the State it-

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 52 of 120)