^ys to investigate the fruit &rms and silk culture. A large field
bad been planted in mulberry trees; a factory large enough to em-
ploy a hundred hands was being erected, and the experiment is now
in active and favorable operation. Sericulture will some day con-
stitute one of the leading interests of California, as capable men
are entering upon it at several places, and there can scarcely be
a doubt that the climate and soil are well adapted thereto. The
want of cheap labor has been the great hinderance ; and this is
supplied by the Chinese, who will probably become silk manufac-
turers here as at home. Vineyards extended in all directions. The
picking season was over, but there were still grapes enough on the
vines to ftirnish a plentiful repast. Many thousand bunches had
dried upon the stem, and tasted more like raisins than grapes, im-
110 WESTERN WILDS.
less of the acid Sonoma variety; these had a strong fiery taste.
Every known species, from the extreme north tp the tropics, seems
to find here a second native country, as.it were, where it attains to
great size and fineness of flavor.
Every district in California produces its own peculiar wine, but
all the lighter kinds go by the general name of " Sonoma White/'
the manufiicture having begun at Sonoma. It has been claimed
that the use of light wines lessens the demand for strong liquors.
It certainly has not produced that effect in California. While the
Eastern tourist is eager /or his draught of ice-cooled Sonoma, the
old Californian invariably calls for whisky. Perhaps it is because
they used whisky so long before wine became plenty. On every
road from the larger towns is a series of hotels, with bar attach-
ment, usually known as the One-mile House, the Two-mile House,
etc.; and a man's capacity (in other words the length of time he
has been in California) is usually guaged by the number he can
patronize on his way to and from town. The " pilgrim '' often fells
before he re^iches town. The man who has been here a few years
gets in with his team, disposes of his load, and usually has to spend
the night at the One- or Two-mile House. But the old Californian
drinks at every place on his way in, transacts business with a clear
head, reverses the drinking process at every place going out, even
to the Ten-mile House, and gets home in good condition to do his
evening's work and enjoy himself in the bosom of his family.
Besides figs and grapes there is very little fruit grown in the
main valley; but in all the little mountain vales, both in the Coast
Range and Sierras, is produced almost every fruit of the temperate
and tropical climes. Apples are not so finely flavored as in the
East, and pears are large and coarse; but peaches are better, and
plums, damsons, and nectarines perfectly delicious. It is in grapes,
however, that California particularly excels.
From Davisville I traveled up Putah Creek all day through a
rich level country, covered now with the rich haze of autumn, the
air seeming full of red dust and smoke ; passed occasionally clumps
of trees and very inferior looking farm-houses, seldom painted or
well-finished; traversed mile afl^r mile of continuous wheat fields,
with stubble still bright though the crop was harvested four months
ago, and found the same dry, dusty, grassless look over the whole
landscape. The entire valley is devoted to the growth of wheat
and barley, with the exception of occasional stock-ranches which
also appear devoid of life at this season, with the same old look,
THE PACIFIQ SLOPE. Ill
and half-Southern^ half-Spanish air of shiftlessness. The road runs
uiifenced through a constant succession of wheat fields^ whence the
grain had been cut late' in May ; and the prevailing impression was
of drought. There were fields parched and cracked open^ dust in
great heaps among the dried vegetation, grass withered and burnt,
while the largest creeks were entirely dried up or shrunk to mere
rivulets, pursuing their sluggish and doubtful course away down at
the bottom of deep gulches, which in winter and spring are filled
by immense torrents. At night the horizon was lighted up by fires
raging in the stubble on the high lands, or among the iulen lower
down, and by day the sun was obscured, and distant objects hidden
by the smoke or light haze, which corresponds to our eastern Indian
summer, and is here the immediate precursor of the first rain.
Having since visited California at other seasons, I find it to pos-
Bsess an almost aggravating regularity of climate. To begin with
the year, January is the month when the heaviest rains are passed,
and the ground is settling for the spring growth. Soon this valley
is beautifiil indeed. Strawberries and other early fruits are early
iu market, the plains are of a rich green, plowing is pushed forward
^th vigor, wheat is sown, and springs quickly into growing *life.
In March the rainy season appears to come again, though, generally,
the "later rain'^ is light. Thence the showers grow slowly less and
less firequent till some time in May. The wheat is about full grown,
early potatoes begin to appear, and slight signs of drought are mani-
fest. The grass gets ripe, the Spanish oats (wild) begin to turn
yellow, and early in June the wheat is harvested.
It lies or stands in shocks on the ground, to be threshed out at
^l; for no rain need now be apprehended. The surface begins to
show signs of extreme drought ; by the middle of July the freshets
*re all past and the marshes dried up ; the ground cracks open in
long fissures, into which the grass seeds fall and are preserved to
another growing seajson. As summer advances all the minor vege-
tation loses its green ; the grass, dead ripe, stands cured to a bright
yellow, varied in places by a dirty brown ; creation assumes a gray
and dusty color, and only the purple fig leaves and faint green of
of those trees which have a deeper root relieve the general aspect
of barrenness. On the slopes of the Sierras, the red dust lies six
inches in depth, and the prospect is brightened only by occasional
patches of verdure along the mountain streams, and the pale-green
oval leaves of the manzanita.
Still the heavens remain clear. Then one may see through the
112 WESTERN WILDS.
valley of the Sacramento great stacks of wheat in sacks^ standing
in the open fields till a convenient time arrives for hauling it away,
and threshing-machines running in the open air with no fear of rain.
The stubble of the old fields retains its brightness, and the long dry
autumn of California is fairly inaugurated. The marshes become
CALIFORNIA AORICXTLTURAL BSFORT.
beds of dust, which is blown up in stifling clouds ; the mirage ap-
pears upon the plain in deceptive floods of what the Mexicans call
"lying waters;" the tules become dry as tinder, and at night the Sac-
ramento is lighted for miles by the fires that rage over the same
area where, eight months before, a steamboat could ply at ease. The
yellow grass is eaten to the ground, and the herds are driven far
up the mountains; the dust, which has become insuperable in the
roads, seems to blow away and on to the fields ; the r 'ads are often
bare and dry, hardened like sunburnt brick, and the depressions
in the fields knee-deep in dust. The sky becomes obscured; the
sun rises red and fiery, and disappears about 4 P. M., in a bank of
haze. People prepare for winter by nailing a board here and there
on an apology for a barn, and hauling away any wheat that remains
in the field. After a few preliminary showers, the "early rain"
comes in force ; torrents descend upon beds of dust, and the plain
becomes a sea of thin mud. Then all the mountain gulches are
swollen with muddy red water; the Sacramento spreads for miles
over the tuh lands, and steamers again ply over what was a baked
plain three months before. In a few weeks the worst is passed, and
the growing season begins again. Moral: To enjoy California, come
in the first half of the year. From June till November it is too
dry for comfort; from that till the middle of January too muddy.
THE PACIFIC SLOPR 113
I have only described the climate of the interior â€” that series of
broad plains bordering the San Joaquin and Sacramento^ and ex-
tending to the foot-hills of the Coast Range on the west and the
Sierras on the east, which includes three-fourths of agricultural
California. Taken as a whole, however, the State has three grand
divisions of climate. First is the coast climate; in that narrow
strip between the Coast Range and the ocean, the fields are watered
nightly by the ocean fogs, and are green from January to December.
Hence their leading industryâ€”- expressed in the local phrase â€” "the
cow counties.^' Next is the interior climate, above described. The
region bordering the bay of San Francisco enjoys a mixture of two
climates. The third might be called the mountain-Valley climate.
From the Sierras some forty little valleys open westward; down
each one flows a bright stream, affluent of the San Joaquin or Sac-
ramento, and each has a different climate, from Sonora, where figs
ripen, and strawberries grow in February, to Yreka, where snow
fiometimes lies for three months. Our artist has faithfully depicted
the average Califomian's description of the products of his State. The
reader may discount the picture opposite by a very large per cent.
Next I went to San Francisco, by way of Vallejo, taking steamer
thence to the city. The rainy season had set in, and I awoke next
morning to a view, firom my room far up the hill, of a city half hidden
in mist, fix>m which spires and cupolas projected like sharp rocks above
a swelling flood. Three days of rain, and then the city put on its
"winter'' look. The citizens boast of their winters and apologize for
their summers; and well they may. August is the coldest (to the
feelmgs) and September the warmest month in the year ! One can feel
no difference in temperature between January and June; furs are
worn firom July 1st till late in August, then left off till near Christ-
mas again. The latter part of the winter is singularly mild and equa-
ble â€” about as May in the latitude of Philadelphia. The genesis of
these strange contradictions is in the coast winds. In July and
August they set hard and full upon the coast, bringing with them a
dense fog that lowers the temperature till an overcoat is a necessity.
In September comes a calm, while there is still heat enough in the
summer sun to warm the air ; later comes the softer wind from the
flonth-west. But this south-west wind also drives in the rain clouds
upon the interior plains; so while San Francisco has her nicest
weather, the interior has its rainy season. The clouds thus driven
north from the South Pacific drop but scant moisture on Southern
California ; the rain-fidl at Fort Yuma rarely exceeds two inches per
114 WESTERN WILDS.
year. Northward they are caught by the higher mountains, and the
rain-fall increases; till at last, entangled amid the sub-ranges of Or-
egon, they shower almost constantly from October till May.
I like San Francisco for its variety. If one don't enjoy staid
American society, there are French, Italian, and Spanish quarters,
and not far off Kanakas, and ever-present Chinese. Society is in a
transition state. This is a land of the beggar and the prince. The
oppressive land monopoly which was fixed upon California by Mex-
ican policy, the wonderful fluctuations in mining property, and the
daring speculations of- its business men, have given over the wealth to
a few hands. There seems to be no well defined middle class. Public
taste inclines to the shoVy ; for wealth and fashion naturally outran
culture in a community which, in twenty years, rose like another
Venice, from the salt marsh and sand-hill to unmeasured opulence.
The city is strangely picturesque and interesting. On the west side
of the bay and facing the east, the business blocks cover the flat
along the water front and extend a little way up the slope; thence the
residences and public buildings continue to rise in terraces, to the very
summit of the ridge â€” a spur of Monte Diablo. With this slope and
its sandy soil, it is of necessity clean and free from malaria. The
ocean fogs are bracing to some constitutions, death to others. Xo
man can reason beforehand as to how they will affect him ; they refuse
to follow a priori rules. The first San Francisco was built almost
entirely of wood, and vanished one day in a sweeping fire. The
second was built in a rather fragile manner with more solid materials;
the frequent fires finally cured the first fault, and the earthquakes fright-
ened them out of the second. In one year the city had eleven " shakes."
The Chinese, seen in every part of California, are never out of sight
in the city, of which they constitute one-sixth of the population. Some
twenty squares along Dupont Street are given up to them, the locality
appropriately known as " Barbary Coast." We found it settled so
thickly that it seems scarcely possible human beings could exist so, and
could scarcely repress a feeling of fear as we plunged into the dark
alleys lined by little cubby-holes, and alive with yellow women. But
our guide assures, us we are always safe here ; " though," he adds, " I
can't give you any such promise two squares from here, among the
whites." This suggests the " hoodlum," or young rough, which San
Francisco has in fearful abundance.
Of course my resident friends took me to the Chinese Theater,
where we witnessed part of a play representing some marvelous inci-
dents in the career of Rip Sah, or some other old humbug, whose
THE PACIFIC SLOPE. 115
name and monarchy were great in China cbout sixty thousand years
since. I may not have the date quite correct, as Celestial history con-
sists of the annals of a series of dynasties, evolving civilization and
philosophy through successive eras of such magnitude that a variation
BARBABY COAST,** %AH TRANCISOa
of twenty thousand years, more or less, is regarded as a trifling discrep-
ancy. The musicians sit upon the stage directly behind the actors,
^^'ho enter and retire always by the wings; and the dying groans of
li'p Sah, who expires in a fit just after having beheaded fifty thousand
prisoners, are drowned by the monotonous droning of something like a
t'n drum and two three-stringed instruments, about as musical as a hog
With his nose under a gate, but not half as expressive.
116 WESTERN WILDS,
The California Chinese (and I include in this class all in the Far
West,) seem to me to have the coldest, most gloomy and repellant
religion, the most chilling philosophy, of any race in the world.
There is but one redeeming feature in the case; they are all in a
skeptical state, and do not more than half believe their own faith. I
once witnessed in Sacramento their great " devil-drive," which includes
nearly all the ceremonies of their religion. At least four thousand
Chinese were present ; and with the blowing of horns, beating gongs,
talking and yelling, by Mongolian courtesy called singing, and open-
air theaters and bands, they made the evening lively. Nearly all the
Chinese in America are orthodox Buddhists, who reason the matter
thus: "If God good, why pray? Tend to the devil." Hence this
ceremony of driving out the latter.
We found the devil "out in the cold" â€” a hideous black figure,
easily recognized as the evil one, set upon a pedestal just outside the
door. Within were two enormous "Joshes," ten feet high, one in
each corner, and over them a shelf filled with little household gods,
two feet or so in length ; while behind the altar the 'Buddhist priests
and attendant boys were going through a ceremony very similar to
High Mass. The Buddhists, like the Mormons, believe in a regular
gradation of godSy rising one above another to the great head god^
whom the Mormons call Eloheim, and the Chinese " Top-side Josh."
Outside, booths with open front were erected, in which various plays
were being performed in choice Tartar, the view free to the crowd.
This continued till midnight, when a general chorus of priests and
bands announced the close of the festival (?) and a torch was applied
to the devil. The figure, which proved to be full of fire-crackers,
"went off" in brilliant style till nothing was left apparently but the
hideous head and back-bone; these then shot upward like a huge
Roman candle, leaving a trail of blue fire, and exploded high in the
air with a loud report, followed by a shower of sparks and insufferable
stench. And that was supposed to drive the devil away for a year!
Turning away with a feeling of relief that the devil was gone at last,
I encountered Ah Ching, our Mongolian laundryman, at the Pacific
Hotel^ who spoke some English, and had an intellect that was " not to
be sneezed at," of whom I sought information, and received it thus:
"Hallo, John, do you believe in him?"
" Oh, velley, Melica man, me believe him."
"All Chinamen believe in him?"
"Oh, China like Melica man. Some believe him, sahvey; some
tink him all gosh damn." And I felt that I was answered.
TWO YEARS OF CHANGE.
From the Golden Grate I returned to Utah and trouble. I had often
dealt theoretically with the Mormon courts. I was now to have prac-
tical experience of their beautiful uncertainty.
Corinne, where I had my legal residence, an exclusively Gentile
town, had sprung up suddenly in the center of an old Mormon county.
The county judge was one Samuel Smith, husband of six wives, two of
whom were his own brother's daughters, sealed to him by Brigham
Young, with full knowledge of that relationship. As editor of the
only Gentile paper in Utah, I had occasionally commented on this
feet with considerable severity ; nevertheless, when summoned to his
court as party to a civil suit, I attended with the innate American con-
fidence that every body is safe in the shadow of a court-house.
The trial was over, and I was just stepping off the court-house por-
tico, when I received a thundering whack in the back of the head
which sent me face forward upon the gravel. There was a rush, a
sound of curses, and I felt, first a shower of blows upon the head and
shoulders, and then one or more persons walking over me with heavy
hoots. I distinctly heard bones snap someivha'c; then there was a
void, and next my friends were picking me up and taking stock gen-
erally of my condition. My left collar-bone was broken in two places,
one of my ribs loosened, my temple badly cut, and about two inches
of my scalp torn off, besides being badly hurt myself. We were but
nine Gentiles in a Mormon town of twelve hundred people, so there*
was nothing to be done but haul me over to Corinne, where my wounds
were dressed. In one week I was walking about town in pretty good
condition, and just a month from the attack was discharged cured, and
aWe to travel.
Wonderful as this recovery seems, it is nothing to what I have
^nown to occur in the pure air of the Rocky Mountains. A black-
smith living in Montana, located on the stage-road a hundred miles
from the nearest surgeon, had his knee shattered by a pistol-shot. He
sJiarpened two bowie-knives, strapped the leg over a bench, and am-
putated it halfway between the knee and hip-joint, taking up the
118 WESTERN WILDS,
arteries with his own hands^ and searing them with irons heated by
himself in the forge. His wound healed by what physicians call " the
first intention," and he still lives, to walk pretty well upon a wooden
leg, and be known throughout the mountains as "Nervy Bill."
I saw a man in Stockton, California, who had been "bodaciously
chawed up," to use his own language, by a grizzly bear. In the
" BODACIOUSLY CHAWED UP.'
death-hug he had an arm and leg broken, and all the flesh torn from
his forehead and crown, after which he lay-two days and nights in the
cafion before being found. Yet he lived, in good health, and not badly
disfigured. Chief-Justice Brookings, late of the Supreme Court of
TWO yeahs of CHAKQR 119
Dakota^ broke through the ice in the Big Sioux River^ and was hchi
fest for twenty-four hours, his legs crushed by the ice and chilled by
the cold water. Both limbs were amputated; but he enjoyH goo<l
health, walks upon corks, and to use the language of an admiring con-
stituent " is able to stump 'round an' do a heap o' devilment." It's
the physical condition at the time that does it. Debauchees have died
from the scratch of a rusty nail ; mountaineers have survived a dozen
gaping wounds, any one of which, by sound medical reasoning, should
have killed them.
My principal assailant proved to be the son of Judge Smith. He
was arrested by the Mormon authorities and fined fice dollars. It is
well known in Utah that, in such cases, the fine is seldom paid. Two
years afterwards, W. R. Keithley, a lawyer in Sjilt Lake City, struck
a Mormon editor two blows with a light cane, doing no particular
damage. He was taken before the Mormon justice, fined a hundred
dollars, and put under bonds of four hundred to keep the peace.
That was about the percentage of difference in those days between
justice to the Saint and the Gentile. It is different now â€” thanks to
Ulysses Grant and Judge McKean. But as for me, I can safely swear
that I have a little more than balanced the account with the Mor-
mons, I can lay my hand on my heart and say that they don't owe
me a cent.
After a winter visit to the East, I returned to Utah early in 1870,
eager to be fighting the old battles again. There had been great
changes. The first reaction, following the completion of the Union
Pacific Railroad, was past, and the mountains were lively again.
Rich silver veins had been opened in the Wasatch, and miners by
hundreds were pouring in. Better than all, U. S. Grant was at the
helm, and had sent men to represent the government in Utah. His
civil career has been fiercely criticised, but his was the first admin-
istration that accomplished any good for Utah. No more bowing to
Brigham in the Gentile programme. No more of Federal officials
dancing with his "wives," and taking an invitation to his house as
a high honor. No more asking his gracious permission to remain in
Utah ; and especially no negligence in looking aft^r Gentile interests.
Eveiy day brought tidings of rich discoveries in the mountains.
When I visited the Sevier district in 1869, there was not a mining
shaft fifty feet deep, and not more than a thousand non-Mormons in
Utah; by the close of ^870, the mining population increased *to
4,000, and it was soon established, beyond doubt, that Utah was a
rich mining oountrj-. In one month the Walker Brothers shipped
120 WESTERN WILDS.
4,000 tons of ore. The early history of the Emma Mine now reads
like a romance. Mr. J. B. Woodman had never wavered in his faith
that the hill north of Little Cottonwood Cafion contained a rich de-
posit. He had followed a narrow vein till his means were ex-
hausted, without making a "strike.'' His faith was infectious, and
one or two grocers in Salt Lake City furnished him on credit a
hundred pounds of flour and some meat, which he and his partners
carried up the cafion, wading through the snow. Before that pro-
vision was exhausted, they came upon the upper part of the deposit,
since known as the Emma Mine. In a month thereafter the most
sanguine spoke of it as worth $40,000, whereat the many laughed.
Every foot of additional development showed the ore-body to be
greater, and the property was successively sold and stocked at higher
prices. In September, 1872, after it had been sold in London, a
gentleman familiar with the workings of the mine presented the fol-
lowing exhibit :
Depth of workings 230 feet
Breadth of workings 6 to 40 "
Length of workings 475 "
Cubic feet excavated (about) 600,000
Tons of ore extracted 30,000
Tons of waste and third-class ore 15,000
Value of ore $2,500,000
So small had been the expenses of working, on account of the loose
nature of the ore, that $2,200,000 of this had been clear profit. The
mine might honestly have been sold for $2,000,000. It was stocked
at $5,000,000. The result was a failure to pay dividends on such a
capital, a cessation of working, caving in of the mine, a disgraceful
lawsuit, and an international scandal. The nation at large has little