Charles Frederick Holder.

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self? It must be remembered that in
free governments, under the long es-
tablished theory of the greatest good
to the greatest number, the maj< rity
rules. It might be added in this con
nection, that each citizen cannot have
a Capital at his own door. Our State
is more than 3,000 miles from t lie-
Capital of the Nation, and yet we
have not on that account seceded :
the Union. Nearness to the Capital
of a State or Nation is not always an
unmixed blessing.

It is contended with peculiar force
that California is divided by a natural
boundary, and that such natural
boundary is the Tehachipi mountains.
This is not true, except that the Te-
hachipi mountains separate a part of
Los Angeles County from Kern
County, while along all of the north-
ern imaginary line of Southern Cali-
fornia so-called, which separates San
Bernardino and Inyo Counties. San
Bernardino and Kern Counties, and
San Luis Obispo from Monterey
County, no high elevations or ranges
of mountains form or can form a -
spicuous boundary. The fact is, how-
ever, that California is a mountainous
State, and nearly every county, ex-
cept the few in the great valleys is di-
vided and subdivided by high hills or
ranges of mountains. For instance,
Inyo. Alpine, Mono, Lassen, Plumas
and Modoc are separated from 'the



rest of the State by the Sierra Nevada
range, which reaches to an average
altitude of from 9,000 to 10,000 feet.
The counties of Del Norte, Humboldt,
Mendocino and Lake are separated
from the valley portions of the State
by what is known as the Coast Range,
which has an average altitude of from
3,000 to 5,000 feet; and even the east-
ern portion of San Bernardino County
is separated from the western part of
the same county by the San Bernard-
ino range of mountains, whose alti-
tude reaches fully 11,000 feet, while
the eastern and northern parts of L,os
Angeles -are separated from the west-
ern and southern portions of the same
county by the San Gabriel Range,
which has an average altitude of from
5,000 to 6,000 feet.

It will thus be seen there is no such
thing as great natural boundaries sep-
arating distinctive portions of the State
of California, unless we admit that all
of the hills and mountain ranges in
this State are natural boundaries. If
they are, California is divided, and so
are many of the counties of the State
divided, into small divisions — too
small to form States.

And further, be it added in this con-
nection, that the argument would be
more potential if the Tehachipi Range
was inaccessible; but the fact is, the
only railroad now uniting Southern
and Central California goes over the
Tehachipi mountains, white a rail-
road is being built between Southern
and Central California through the
coast counties, which will not, at any
point, reach an altitude exceeding
2,500 feet, and this road will soon be
completed, thus forming two great
railroad lines between Central, North-
ern and Southern California. To those
who do not wish to build a wall be-
tween Northern, Central and Southern
California, none exists. But suppose
there were ranges of mountains sepa-
rating Eastern and Western California,
or Northern and Southern California,
would that be any reason for State Di-
vision, if the different sections were
accessible? And if not accessible,

then of course they should form a
separate nation.

It is also the contention of those
who favor State Division that the ter-
ritorial extent of California is too vast
for one State, and they compare Cali-
fornia with the States of New Eng-
land and the smaller and older States
of the Union. It need but be said in
reply, that one hundred years ago, it
consumed more time to travel from
Albany to New York or from Phila-
delphia to Harrisburg, than it now
does to go from San Bernardino, Cali-
fornia, to Portland, Oregon. The rail-
road has revolutionized transportation,
has brought the remote parts of the
country near to the great centers; and
thus the question of distance is no
longer a vital or material issue. All
new States are larger than formerly.
For instance, Montana has 146,000
square miles of territory, Nevada has
110,000, Texas has 265,000, Colorado
has 103,000 and California 158,000
square miles. California is no larger
now than when admitted into the
Union. All the Western States are
mountainous. The topography of Cali-
fornia is peculiar — all mountains and
valleys. We have no great plains and
rolling lands, as in the Middle and
Eastern States. Less of the land on
the Pacific slope is arable than on the
central or eastern side of the continent;
SO we have more lands that are pas-
toral in their character and require
more territory, and so it is that the
inter-montane and Pacific States are
all large. California was the first and
is the largest.

The matter of State Division is
not left alone to California. It
should be noted that the Congress of
the United States acts a conspicuous
part in the admission of new States ;
and especially when such new States
are formed out of old ones. There
must be some overshadowing reason
impelling such a movement before
any new States will be admitted. The
whole country has to be appealed to,
and it becomes a national issue. Con-
gress stands at the gateway through



which these new applicants for
Statehood must pass. No political
question has in the past so disturbed
the public mind as the admission of
new States into the Union. Three
times in the history of the Republic
has this subject sounded an alarm
which took whole decades of years to

The admission of Missouri, Cali-
fornia and Kansas, were disturbing
elements in national politics for forty
years. At that time the monetary
and industrial institutions of our coun-
try were less potential than now ; but
as wealth and population have in-
creased, American politics are more
closely interwoven with the business
of the nation ; and thus, whatever
disturbs the one injures the other.
Indeed, State Division would now
cause political unrest all over the
country, and like the threat of war it
would affect State and national credit,
decrease production, limit employ-
ments, lower prices, disturb public
confidence, and, in a word, be a polit-
ical sin for the commission of which
there can be no adequate excuse or
sufficient punishment.

The legal objections to State Di-
vision are found first, in Section 3,
Article 4, of the Constitution of the
United States, which reads as fol-
lows :

" New States may be admitted by
the Congress into this Union, but no
new States shall be formed or erected
within the jurisdiction of any other
State, nor any State be formed by the
junction of two or more States or parts
of States, without the consent of the
Legislature of the States concerned,
as well as of the Congress."

This constitutional provision was
framed by the founders of our Govern-
ment, first, because it was then be-
lieved that upon the harmony and
unity of the States of the Union,
would depend the harmony and peace
of the nation, and that a change in
the relations of any one or two of the
States would interfere with the peace
and good order of all of them ; second,

to avoid strife among the people of
the different parts of the same State,
or among the different States ; and
third, to maintain a stable, perpetual
and equal division of political power
among all the States, the object being
to avoid the temptation of political
majorities to increase, for political
purposes', senatorial representation by
means of an undue increase of t In-
states of the Union.

Under this section of the Constitu-
tion, by the most favorable eons:
tion given to it, the State Legislature
of California would first have to 1
a resolution favoring State Division ;
second, the Congress of the United
States would have to give its consent
by a majority vote of both hou
before two new States could be carved
out of one old one.

Possibly the most striking illustra-
tion of the danger and folly of State
Division is found in an article written
by Mr. James Sullivan, published in
the Massachusetts "Gazette" of De-
cember 2d, 1787, and recently repub-
lished in Ford's " Essays on the Con-
stitution " (page 42), which article
refers to Section 3, Article 4 of the
National Constitution above quoted,
where the author says: —

"This section can be opposed by
none who have the power and hap-,
piness of the State at heart, for by
this section the designs of those who
wish to effect the disunion of the
States in order to get themselve-
tablished in posts of honor and profit,
are entirely defeated."

State Divisionists point to the ad-
mission of West Virginia as an in-
stance where the Constitutional rule
was not followed. But they are clearly
in error. The State of Virginia had
seceded from the Union; the Capital
of that State had become the Capital
of the Southern Confederacy, which
was then in open arms and making
war against our country. The west-
ern part of old Virginia, consisting of
forty-eight counties, opposed seces-
sion; and on November 26th, 1861,
held a convention, and after denounc-



ing the secession of the State of Vir-
ginia, petitioned the United States to
be admitted into the Union, and by
Act of Congress passed December 31st,
1862, West Virginia was so admitted.
But this was done in time of war — was
a war measure. It was not claimed
then, nor is it claimed now, by any
student of Constitutional law* that un-
der the Constitution of the United
States, two or more States may be
carved out of one, and those two States
admitted into the Union, unless they
follow both the spirit and the letter of
the section of the Constitution of the
United States above quoted.

The admission of the Republic of
Texas is not a precedent. That ter-
ritory was a?inexed to the Union. It
had not previously formed an Amer-
ican territory or any part of a State.
When it was admitted into the Union
a proviso was made to the effect that
four more States might be carved out
of it. This was done to avoid the
very Constitutional objections referred
to ; and yet no effort has since been
made to make any additional States
therefrom. Texas was a vast terri-
tory, and the creation of more slave
States was then a vital issue — an issue
however, which happily, is now for-
ever settled.

Second. Nor do our friends of
Southern California find any Legal au-
thority for State Division in the Act
of Congress admitting California into
the Union. Happily, the law of Con-
gress giving political autonomy to the
State did not provide for the dismem-
berment of the very political organiza-
tion it created, nor did it indicate any
means by which its withdrawal from
the Union or the division of the State
might safely be accomplished. Con-
gress fixed the boundaries of the State,
and the people have no legal power to
change those boundaries, exe'ept in the
manner indicated by the Constitution.
Indeed, the admission of California
into the American Union formed one
of the great political epochs of our
country's history. It was the second
national contest between freedom and

slavery. The first was made upon
the admission of Missouri. So con-
spicuous was the effort* made by
every leading Californian to get into
the Union, that, north and south, the
people were practically unanimous for
admission, and the greatest men of the
nation took part in christening the
golden child of the Pacific and assist-
ed in dedicating it to freedom. In all
these acts, Northern and Southern men
bore a conspicuous and patriotic part.

To the pioneers, State Division
would be a bereavement, because the
State pride of those who helped to
build it, is boundless. They came
here when our civilization was in its
infancy, our population sparse and
widely disseminated, our wealth lim-
ited, our industries few in number, our
opportunities for communication with
the rest of the country slow and un-
certain. Their very isolation bound
them more closely to the new civiliza-
tion which they were creating. With
commendable pride they have watched
the marvelous growth of the State, its
progress in every line of a better civil-
ization, the building of its schools,
churches and colleges, and the creation
of improved social conditions, until
they have learned to cherish for this
State all the affection which a creator
can have for the object of his creation.
They are proud of every part of the
State. They love it all. No true
Californian who participated in the
stirring events of its early Statehood
could do less, and they will never
willingly consent to its division.

In this connection, it must be ad-
mitted that those who came here in
recent times, whose youth and early
manhood were spent elsewhere, do
not and cannot appreciate the deep-
rooted affection which the pioneers of
California have for the State. The
newcomer is only attached to the part
of the State in which he lives, while
the old Californian knows but one
California — the whole State.

We need but cast one glance over
the great State of California to see
what we would lose bv State Division,



and the little we would gain by it.
Remember that within the last forty
years, great cities have grown up in
our midst, orchards and vineyards
have been planted and now beautify
and adorn every landscape, while
peace and prosperity and contentment
is the lot of our people. We may
look in vain for a country favored as
ours has been favored, for opportuni-
ties as abundant as those we possess,
for a climate as balmy, soil as gener-

ous, skies as bright or people more
kindly and hospitable, more generous
and charitable than the people of our
great State. Then let us never
change or separate while these con-
ditions continue, and they ought to
and will continue so long as tin- teach-
ings of the early Californians, and the
experience and practices of their chil-
dren and children's children shall be
felt and enjoyed by the inhabitants of
the Pacific Slope.



IX 1863, the Comstock mines of
Nevada were in the full swing of
their youthful prosperity. Already
Virginia City contained about 12,000
inhabitants when, staging it over the
mountains by the old Placerville route,
Artemus Ward arrived under an en-
gagement to deliver his famous lecture
entitled the " Babes in the Wood "—
a lecture in which not the slightest
reference was made to the "poor in-
nocents " that wandered in the wood
11 till death did end their grief."

Artemus had been lecturing in San
Francisco, and other places in Califor-
nia, and expectation was on tip-toe
when he arrived in Virginia City. He
was "hail, fellow, well met" with
every one the moment he reached

town. All had so often read and
laughed over the letters and sketches
of the proprietor of the Great Moral
Show that when he appeared on the
Comstock he was greeted as an old

Ward was then in fine health and
spirits. Everything he saw called
forth a joke or a quaint saying. His
drollery was without effort. His Inn
like the quality of mercy was not
strained. It was natural to him I
the comical side of everything. He
teemed with waggery which on the
slightest provocation expanded into a
surprising flow of facetiousness — into a
merry, sportive string of pleasantries.
There was nothing malicious in his
fun, and he harbored no feeling of



resentment when he himself was the
victim. Even when that poor old
"chestnut" of "an oat" being in
waiting for him at a certain place was
played off on him he did not lose his
temper. He said it merely made him
feel sad, as it detracted from the "high
opinion he had formed of the wit and
originality of the Comstockers."
Said he, ' ' I could weep for the poor

Artemus remained in Virginia City
about a week, spending much of his
leisure time in the editorial rooms of
the Enterprise. It devolved upon
Mark Twain and myself to show him
the silver mines and the wonders of
the town; a very agreeable task, as the
novelty of many sights and situations
aroused in his soul the spirit of the
"wax figger " man, and drew from
him whole trains of witty remarks.
He was as much at home among the
miners a thousand feet below the light
of day, as on the surface among the
people on the street. The talk of the
miners amused him and he treasured
up all the mining terms and phrases
he heard, asking the meaning of
them as he jotted them down. ' l These
are the things," he would say, " that
give the life touches to a sketch."
He made no elaborate notes. I never
saw him write to exceed half a dozen
words at any one time. "Aline,"
said he, " if you can hit the right
thing, will give as good an idea of a
place as whole pages. ' '

The serious manner and solemn face
assumed by Artemus Ward added not
a little to the fun of his impromptu
"quaints." A stranger would gaze
at the man for a moment in blank
amazement. Then the oddity of the
thing would prove too much for him
and he would be obliged to ' ' let go
all holds " and indulge in a regular
explosion of laughter — Artemus the
while, more .solemn than ever, gazing
from face to face, as though astonished
and somewhat hurt at being interrupted
by the sudden outburst of merriment.
He worked this trick with telling
effect in his lectures. He had won-

derful control of his facial muscles,
and could make his face absolutely
wooden. Nothing could surprise him
into a laugh at such times, or even into
the slightest approach to a smile.

Artemus had a favorite trick that he
loved to indulge in, and out of which
he appeared to get a good deal of con-
genial fun. This was the disbursing
of a rigmarole of nonsense in a solemn
and impressive manner, as though he
was saying .something of unusual
weight and importance. It was a game
of mystification in which he greatly
delighted. At a dinner given him by
leading Comstockers at the Interna-
tional Hotel, Ward played this trick
on Mark Twain, all present being let
into the secret beforehand. Artemus
was seated beside Mark near the head
of the table. Presently something was
said about genius. Artemus at once
cleared his throat and turning to Mark
began in a voice loud enough to at-
tract the attention of all present and
put a stop to general conversation,
about as follows : " Ah, — speaking of
genius, Mr. Clemens, now, genius ap-
pears to me to be a sort of luminous
quality of the mind, allied to a warm
and inflammable constitution, which
is inherent in the man, and supersedes
in him whatever constitutional ten-
dency he may possess, to permit him-
self to be influenced by sych things as
do not coincide with his preconceived
notions and established convictions to
the contrary. Does not my definition
hit the nail squarely on the head, Mr.

"I don't know that I exactly under-
stand you," returned Mark. "Some-
how I — I didn't fully grasp your mean-

1 ' No ? ' ' queried Artemus. And
then he elevated his eyebrows and
gazed at Mark with a countenance ex-
pressive of profound astonishment
and some shifting shades of pity.

All at the table gave utterance to
half-smothered " humphs," snorts and
grunts of disgust at Mark's stupidity.
"Didn't grasp my meaning?" said
Artemus, " why that is very .singular.



However," he added, pulling himself
together more hopefully, " I will try
and express my idea more clearly.
Genius, Mr. Clemens, does not appear
to me to consist, or rest, merely in
sensibility to that degree of beauty
which is perceived by all, as there is
an inherent illuminating power, the
possession of which causes luminous
ideas to dart like meteors across the in-
tellectual firmament, and which, I say,
checks in the person possessing it a
tendency to permit himself to be in-
fluenced by preconceived opinions in
regard to those beauties in nature,
which all objects display to the eye of
one of a warm and inflammable tem-
perament, and which is not at all
understood by those detractors who
are . constitutionally incapable of see-
ing those beauties. The — but I must
have already made it plain to you, Mr.
Clemens ? ' '

" I am almost ashamed to .say it,"
drawled Mark, "but, to tell you the
truth, Pwas not able -to catch your
exact meaning. I will admit, how-
ever, that what you say appears rea-
sonable enough, and you speak it in
a very logical and convincing tone of
voice ; still I somehow fail to grasp
your idea of genius."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Artemus,
and for half a minute he. gazed at
Mark with a face in which a shade of
impatience began to mingle with as-
tonishment and compassion. Then
heaving a sigh, he said : " Well, per-
haps I was not sufficiently explicit.
What I wished to say was simply that
genius is a 1 sort of illuminating quality
of the mind inherent in those of con-
stitutionally inflammable natures and
whose conceptions are not of that
ambiguous and disputable kind which
may be said — ' '

" Hold on, Artemus," interrupted
Mark, " it is useless for you to repeat
your definition. The wine, or the
brandy, or the whisky or some other
thing has gone to my head. Tell it
to me some other time : or, better
still, write it down for me and I'll
study it at my leisure,"

"Good!" cried Artemus, his face
beaming with pleasure. " I'll give it
to you to-morrow in black and white.
I have been much misunderstood in
this matter and it is important that I
should set myself right. You see
that to the eye of a person of a warm
and inflammable nature and in whose
self-luminous mind ideas arise- that
are by no means confined to the ma
terial which conception furnishes, but
may be — ' '

11 For God's sake ! " cried Mark :
" if you go at that again you'll drive
me mad ! "

The general burst of laughter
which followed this feeling and halt-
angry protest, made it plain to Mark
that Artemus had been set to work on
him with malice aforethought, and that
all present were in the plot and had been
amusing themselves at his expense.

Mark was in no amiable mood the
remainder of the evening. He said
such a thing "might be thought by
some to be smart, ' ' but he failed to see
"where the fun came in."

Artemus Ward gave no thought to
money — not enough to take care of* it
when he had earned it. In the midst
of a whirl of speculation on the Corn-
stock and with mines of gold and sil-
ver all about him, he envied no one
the millions that were being hoisted
up to the light of day. He never
thought of such a thing as joining in
the stock speculations about which all
with whom he came in contact were
running mad. Had the mines been of
copper, iron or coal he would have
shown quite as much interest in them.
He was wholly interested in the peo-
ple he found in the mines, and the
ordinary miner received as large a
share of his attention as did the
millionaire owner. Indeed of the two
he preferred the miner as being the
more picturesque.

At the time Artemus was in Virginia
City, he said his peculiar style would
soon suifeit the public if he wrote too
much. For this reason he said he
was going to give the people a n
"But," he said, "I am taking notes



of the queer words and expressions I
hear in different regions. These I
shall sometimes use in sketches located
in those places where heard." He
told me that he had one book filled
with notes of queer things he picked
up among the boatmen about the
wharves of the towns on the great
lakes. He also contemplated altering
his style as regarded spelling, except
in letters in which he appeared as the
' ' wax figger ' ' .showman. Had he not
died at the early age of thirty-two he
would doubtless have worked into
stories and sketches much material
that he had accumulated.

Although Artemus made no pre-
tension to a knowledge of fine points
of art, he frequently made hasty pen-
cil sketches of places and persons that
struck his fancy. In a letter he wrote
me from Austin, Nevada, he sent me
on the back of a programme a sketch
of a brush-roofed saloon in which he
lectured at Big Creek. That sketch
has disappeared, but I still have two
small ones made, I think, in New
Y?rk at the water-front. I am of the
opinion that he made most of his rude
pencil drawings as hints for artists in
making illustrations for his sketches.

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 53 of 120)