William Heath Davis.

Sixty years in California : a history of events and life in California; personal, political and military, under the Mexican regime; during the quasi-military government of the territory by the United States, and after the admission of the state into the union, being a compilation by a witness of the online

. (page 38 of 41)
Online LibraryWilliam Heath DavisSixty years in California : a history of events and life in California; personal, political and military, under the Mexican regime; during the quasi-military government of the territory by the United States, and after the admission of the state into the union, being a compilation by a witness of the → online text (page 38 of 41)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

was one of the actual purchasers ; and of course no de-
cision was ever reached. Putting all these things to-


gether, it is very easily seen who of my assailants
had motives for defacing maps, preferring charges,
etc. ; and likewise to perceive why the committe bring-
ing the charges refused to appear before the commis-
sioners to continue proceedings. They well knew that
a further exposure would consign them to ruin and

the contempt of the public.


The annexed letters are literally copied in vindica-
tion of Alcalde Hyde :
"To George Hyde, i - Alcalde :

SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
yesterday evening enclosing a copy of a letter purport-
ing to be a letter from the Town Council to the Governor
together with his reply thereto, and also your several
requests to which I respectfully return the following :
I was not present at any meeting of the Town Council
sitting as Commissioners to investigate the Charges pre-
ferred against you by a Committee of Citizens, nor has
there been any such meeting publicly held since Decem-
ber last. Consequently I am not aware of the subject
having been entertained ; but have heard that the de-
termination you allude to, soliciting the Governor to
remove you, was made by the four members whose
names you have mentioned, at a secret meeting which
I was not invited to attend. I have not been officially
called on to sit in my capacity as commissioner to
investigate since last December, nor has there been an
official meeting of the board. But four of the ten


charges have as yet been entertained, and I know
that you have repeatedly solicited the board to cause
them to be brought to a speedy determination. Through-
out the entire proceedings, and up to the present time,
the Gentlemen whose names you mentioned have pub-
licly expressed in my hearing that the Committee
preferring the Charges have completely failed to prove
them and that its proceedings were a perfect humbug ;
two of the persons preferring the charges have also
admitted that fact in my presence, one saying that he
wished he had never had anything to do with it, the
other that he would not bother himself any more about
it. I am very Respectfully,

Your Obt. Servant,

San Francisco, March 20, 1848."

FRANCISCO, July 16, 1855.
Geo. Hyde, Esq.

SIR: I rec'd yours of the 25th June, in regard
your question when Alcalde in 1847. . I was chairman
of a committee of the Town Council of San Francisco,
to investigate the charges preferred against you, and in
respect to the first interrogation, I say that it is not
true they were established by proof. To the second,
that, by the testimony, you fully and completely exoner-
ated yourself from all responsibility.
Yours Respect,



MATEO, July 23rd, 1855.
MY DEAR SIR : I received your note of June 25th
requesting an answer to two interrogatories therein
contained concerning certain charges preferred against
you whilst alcalde. I say that the two charges as
examined, were not established by proof. In reply to
the second, I say that in my opinion you did clearly
exonerate yourself from all culpability, and it was so
generally understood at the time. Yours truly,

Geo. Hyde, Esq."

" SAN FRANCISCO, August 4, 1855.
DEAR SIR : Your note dated 25th June last, came
to hand a day or two ago; this must be my apology for
the delay occasioned. With regard to the charges
preferred against you in 1847, I will take the liberty of
saying, that it was well understood then, that they were
preferred by a few individuals merely for the purpose
of gratifying personal animosity. Some nine or ten
charges were forwarded to the Council by the Governor,
only two of which underwent an examination ; and the
committee who conducted the prosecution of them
had every latitude allowed them, not only by the Coun-
cil but by you also. The first charge was commenced on
the 25th Octo., and concluded on the evening of the first
Nov. 1847. Some four or five evenings of a couple of
hours each being the time employed. From this last date,
until about the third of December following, when the
second charge was entertained and concluded at one



sitting, no meeting of the Council, as examiners, was
held. After that, the whole affair was viewed as a
farce by the public ; was considered as abandoned, in-
asmuch as frequent meetings were called at your solici-
tation, to which the Committee prosecuting the charges
invariably failed to attend. It was about the first of
March, 1848, when two members of the Council, in a
secret manner, on their own responsibility, occasioned
by personal feeling (originating in a matter entirely
foreign to the matter of the charges,) opened a corres-
pondence with Gov. Mason, alleging that the charges
were admitted by you to be true, and hence recom-
mended your removal, which the Gov. refused to do.
As a matter of justice to you I will add that I was
present at all the meetings and I distinctly declare that
you never made any admission of the kind whatever ;
the character of the testimony was such as clearly ex-
culpated you from all blame. To your interrogatory
then, is it true that either one or both of the charges
examined before the Council were held to be es-
tablished by proof? I declare that it is not true. I
distinctly and positively assert that you maintained your
innocence, and vindicated your fair fame throughout
the whole affair, and that too by all the testimony taken.
I am, sir, with sincere respect,

Very truly yours, &c.,

To George Hyde, San Francisco."


Eight or ten years since I prepared a list of the
inhabitants of Yerba Buena, Mission Dolores and
Presidio in 1846, which comprised the district of San
Francisco, and the same was published in the Morning
Call. Shortly after the article appeared in print I met
the late Hall McAllister on Montgomery street one
forenoon, and he stopped me to say that he had read the
article referred to in the Call, and had filed among his
legal archives three of the newspapers as part of his
large record of legal matters. The same are doubtless
now in existence as part of the mass of records, the ac-
cumulation of many years of his brilliant and success-
ful practice in the profession that he loved.

The following is a similar list of names in the three
villages above named on the day in July, 1846, that the
Mexican Eagle was displaced by the Stars and Stripes,
by Captain Montgomery of the United States Navy.
In the preparation of the names of the early residents
at the time the government was changed, I have been
very careful to omit none of the people that lived in
the district; and I have revised the published list :


Nathan Spear (retired from business pn account of
ill health), Mrs. Nathan Spear, two servants,

Mrs. Susanna Martinez Hinckley, and one servant.
William M. Smith, Auctioneer.
Captain Eliab Grimes, Capitalist.


John Vioget, Maria Montero, his wife, two child-
ren and one servant.

Jose Venavidas.

William A. Leidesdorff, merchant and real estate
owner, and one servant.

Jack Fuller, Chona Linares, his wife, two daugh-
ters, two sons and two servants.

W. D. M. Howard (merchant), and three servants.

Henry Mellus, Merchant.

Wm. R. Basham, Clerk to Mellus & Howard.

Seregee (young Russian), clerk to Leidsdorff.

Jose Jesus Noe, last alcalde under the Mexican

Dona Guadalupe, wife of Jose Jesus Noe, four
sons and two daughters (who were all small children)
and four servants.

Miguel Noe, son of ex- Alcalde Noe.

Francisco Ramirez (Chilean), Trader.

Trinidad Moya (Mexican), Trader.

Grigorio Escalante (Manila), Baker.

Juana Briones de Miranda, first settler in Yerba
Buena, who is still living on her large tract of land in
Mayfield, Santa Clara County, at the advanced age of
four-score and ten years ; two sons and three daughters
small children.

Polinario Miranda (husband of the former), and
three servants.

Presentacion Miranda de Ridley and one servant.

Robert Ridley (husband of the former), Lessee of
Vioget's Hotel.


John Evans, wife, three sons and three daughters.

Tomas Miranda.

John Baywood (known by the name of John
Cooper), wife and son.

John Sullivan, wood cutter and dealer, and two
very young brothers,

Peter Sherbeck and wife.

R. M. Sherman.

William Heath Davis (merchant), and two servants.

Josiah Belden.

Henry Neal, clerk to Mellus & Howard.

George Glidding, formerly clerk to bark <( Tasso."

Henry Richardson, formerly clerk to bark " Ster-

Josefa Venavidas, daughter of Mrs Vioget.

Josefa Montero, sister of Mrs. Vioget.

H. F. Teschemacher, clerk to Henry Mellus' bark
" Tasso," and afterwards agent for the same vessel.

Joseph P. Thompson, clerk to Mellus & Howard.

Mrs. John C. Davis, wife of John C. Davis.

John C. Davis (and one servant), William J. Rey-
nolds (Chino), John Rose, John Finch (tinker), ship-
wrights, housebuilders and blacksmiths.

Benito Diaz (Custom- House officer), wife, three
small children and mother-in-law.

John Thompson, Blacksmith.

Mrs. Montgomery ; afterwards married Talbot H.
Green alias Paul Geddes.

Charles E. Pickett.


George Denecke, Baker.

Vicente Miramontes, wife and six children.

Francisca Vidal.

Charles Meyer, clerk to Leidesdorff.

Rafael Vidal.

Francisco el Negro, Cook (Peruvian.)
John el Negro, Pastryman.

Carmel Tadeo, Washerwoman.

Bias Tadeo.

Bias Angelino, Wood Cutter.

Juan Agramon, Wood Cutter.

Juan Bernal and Chona Soto, his wife.

Victor Prudon and Teodosia Boronda, his wife,

Marcella Boronda, sister of Mrs. Prudon.

Antonio Ortega and Chica Garcia, his wife.

Antonio Buhan (Peruvian), Gambler.

Mary Bennett, husband and four children.

Daniel Sill, Miller and Hunter.

Charles Clein, Proprietor of Saloon.

Alexander Leavett, Carpenter.

Juan Lara, Shoemaker.

A. A. Andrews, builder, and Rosalia Haro, his wife,
two children and one servant.

Thos. Smith (Smith & Co.), Proprietor of Saloon.

Maria Antonia Valle de Dawson, owner of land
near the Blucher Rancho.

Guadalupe Berreyesa, grantee to a large tract of

J. H. Brown, Saloon-keeper.


William Johnson, owner of schooners in the bay
of San Francisco.

John Ackerman, clerk to W. A. Leidesdorft.


Padre Real, of the Mission San Francisco de Asis.

Francisco Guerrero, Sub-Prefect of the District. of
San Francisco.

Josefa Haro, wife of Francisco Guerrero, two sons
and two servants.

Francisco de Haro, 1 Ex-Alcalde.

Miliana Sanchez, wife of Francisco de Haro.

Francisco de Haro, Jun.

Ramon de Haro.

Natividad Haro.

Prudencio and Alonzo Haro, small children and
two servants of the household.

Tiburcio Vasquez, mayor-domo, Mission Dolores.

Alvina Hernandez, wife of Tiburcio Vasquez, eight
children and two servants.

Candelario Valencia. (Valencia street is named after

Paula Sanchez, wife of Candelario Valencia, and
two servants.

Eustacio Valencia.

Jose Ramon Valencia.

Lucia Valencia.

Tomasa Valencia.

Francisco Valencia.



Jose Jesus Valencia and Julia Sanchez, his wife.

Rosa Valencia.

Amadeo Valencia.

Catalina Valencia, second wife of Jose Jesus Noe.

Leandro Galindo and Dominga Sotelo, his wife.

Nazario Galindo.

Josefa Galindo.

Seferino Galindo.

Benerito Galindo.

Henaro Galindo.

Maria Galindo.

Antonia Galindo.

Manuela Galindo.

Chino Sanchez and Jesus Alvisu, his wife, five
small daughters.

Isabel Sanchez.

Jose Gomez and Eusavia Galindo, his wife.

Guadalupe Gomez, female.

Bernardino Garcia, married to Mrs. Hilaria Read.

Hilaria Sanchez Read, of Read's rancho in Marin

John Read, of Read's rancho, Marin County.

Hilarita Read, of Read's rancho, Marin County.

Carmel Cibrian de Bernal.

Bruno Valencia and Bernarda Duarte, his wife,
and four children.

Militon Valencia.

Felipe Soto.

Jose Santa Maria, Secretary to Sub-Prefect



Agustin Davila and Jesus Feliz, his wife, and two

Agustin Davila, Junior.

Tutiana Avila.

Dolores Avila.

Magin Feliz.

Torivio Tanforan (Peruvian) and Maria Valencia,
his wife, and seven children.

Jose Cornelio Bernal, husband of Carmel Cibrian.

Jose Jesus Bernal.

Angel Alvisu and Josefa Sotelo, his wife.

Ysidora Jalapa.

Rafaela Jalapa.

Mariano Jalapa.


Dona Guadalupe Briones de Miramontes.

Candelario Miramontes, her husband.

Ygnacio Miramontes.

Rodulfo Miramontes.

Alsiano Miramontes.

Raymundo Miramontes.

Jose de los Santos Miramontes.

Juan Jose Miramontes.

Dona Luz Briones, who is still living at the great
age of more than a century ; with her sister Dona
Juana Briones de Miranda, at Mayfield, Santa Clara

Dolores Miramontes.


Ramona Miramontes.

Manuel Pena (an old soldier of the Mexican army)
and Guadalupe, his wife.

Dolores Pena.

Maria de Los Angeles Pena.

Carmel Pena

Maria Pena.

Antonia Pena.

Francisco Pena.

Husevio Soto, (an old artilleryman of the Spanish
and Mexican armies, with the rank of Corporal) and
Martina Mendoza, his wife and three children.

Marta Soto.

Francisco Soto.

Joaquin Pena (an old soldier of the Spanish and
Mexican armies, with the rank of Corporal) and Eusta-
quia Mojica, his wife.

Jose de la Cruz Pena.


First Chinaman in California Second Arrival of Chinese Observations by Mr.
McDermett Observations by Mr. Leeds Chinese Encroachment Chinese
Immorality Colonel Jonathan D. Stevenson's Regiment of one thousand New
York Volunteer Soldiers, a portion of the United States Army of Occupation,
Arrives at San Francisco in the month of March, 1847 Roster of the com-
missioned and non-commissioned Officers of the Regiment.

I have mentioned previously that I was on my
way from Santa Cruz when the national standard was
hoisted on the (Bth of July, 1 846. I arrived only a day or
two after the occurrence. My name appears on the
list of the inhabitants of Yerba Buena on the day the
American flag waved over the little village for the
first time, this place having been my residence for
many years.

Several years anterior to 1838 there was a China-
man on board the brig " Bolivar," Captain Nye, as a
servant in the cabin, and he remained on the coast dur-
ing the stay of the vessel. Probably this man of the
Celestial Empire was the first that visited California
until the commencement of 1848.

The American brig " Eagle " arrived here from
Canton, China, on the 2d of February, 1848, with two
Chinamen and a Chinawoman, who were looked upon
as curiosities by some of the inhabitants of the grow-
ing town of San Francisco, who had never seen people
of that nationality before. During the winter of 1848
and 1849 it was observable that Chinamen were multi-


plying by immigration rapidly. The Mongolians soon
availed themselves, in the new field, of their pro rata
of the large business that was being done here during
the gold excitement. At that particular time there was
no expression of alarm from the people of San Fran-
cisco that the Chinese would overrun the city of the bay
and the State of California.

In 1 88 1 and 1882 while I was in the capital of the
nation I became acquainted with John McDermett, a
resident and capitalist of Washington, and I frequented

his home, and in those visits I made to him and his

family, he and myself would often get into discussions
over the unacceptable immigration from China to the
State of California. He thought, from a humane stand-
point, the people of California were, as a class, too
harsh and severe in their treatment of the Mongolians.
Of course, during our arguments I opposed all sugges-
tions in behalf of the Chinamen, but I could never con-
vince him that their presence was demoralizing to the
youthful people of the young State, and that they had been
extracting millions of gold continuosly for many years.
About three years ago Mr. McDermett came to Cali-
fornia for the first time, to visit a married daughter re-
siding in the city, and viewed many points of interest
in the State of perpetual flowers. One day I said to
him that I would be pleased to devote one or two days
in showing him the city. We visited Chinatown, and
I took him into basements and cellars which were in-
habited by Chinese, and the smell from the filth that


surrounded their habitations was so offensive that he
and I were glad to retreat to the street above us and
into the pure air. From Washington street I called
my friend's attention to both sides of Stockton street,
which were once the residences of capitalists and mer-
chants of the town, which were now populated by the
Mongolians the whole line of the street from California
to south side of Broadway. When we crossed the lat-
ter street, and got out of the Chinese quarters, north-
ward, Mr. McDermett remarked: "This portion of
Stockton street is an American town."

The Eastern tourist became satisfied and con-
vinced that this class of people was injurious to the
prosperity of California, morally and commercially.

I have been favored with the following item upon
the Chinese influence in San Francisco by Mr. S. P.
Leeds, editor of the Commercial Record, which is an
expression of his observation of the detrimental effect
of the Mongolian upon the morality of our population:

" The influx of the Chinese began before 1838, with
a single Mongolian as stated previously by yourself.
It has steadily increased, until now there are probably
several hundred thousand in the United States. At
first, while few in nu.nbers, th^/ were docile, meek and
subservient. They would give the entire sidewalk to
every man of other nationalities whom they met. They
entered into nu nial services and did the best they
could. Thi y were moderately honest and strictly
attentive to their indu.^,ts. But as their numbers


increased they began to display their natural disposi-
tions, and they passed from petty pilferings to robberies;
from light dissipations to sensualities ; from praise-
worthy neatness to uncleanliness ; from little assaults to
murders ; from willing workers to aribitrary usurpers
of many industries. In this latter case they over-esti-
mated their power, and threatened to quit work in some
factories, unless all white employes should be dis-
charged. This action aroused such a storm of resentful
indignation that they dropped the subject. They
have taken another course and are running factories, in
which only Chinese find employment.

As an illustration the following incident is narrated.
A manufacturer of bird cages finding that he could
employ Chinese at less wages than he paid white men,
took two or three of them into his factory. After a
while one of thenVleft, under pretence of going to China ;
but recommended his cousin as a good steady fellow to
fill his place, which was given to him. The same
method was adopted by another of them with the same
result. This occurred several times, as fast as chose
employed had learned the art of making bird cages.
During this time they had found out where the employer
procured his materials and who were his customers.
They started a factory in Chinatown and offered their
cages to the dealers at a great reduction in price from
what they had been paying. The manufacturer finding
his sales rapidly falling off, went among his customers
to learn the cause, and discovered that his false economy


in hiring Chinese had ruined his business, and he had
soon after to close it and seek some other occupation.
This will be the final result to all trades in which the
Chinese are given work, for the same reason.

They have the control of the manufacture of cigars,
shoes and slippers ; common clothing ; six or eight
jewelry establishments, several hardware stores, numer-
ous express wagons ; and have recently invaded the
higher branches of commerce by becoming exporters
of American products to China markets : and soon no
flour will be shipped there except by them. This de-
prives the mill men of a profitable branch of their
business, which will be more seriously felt when the
Chinese execute their intended purpose of building a
large flouring mill. They have also established a
marine Insurance Company, and will, unless they are
kept out of the country, in time obtain the control of
all branches of business, the same as they have done in

Their immorality is of the most iniquitous charac-
ter. They are regardless of female virtue, and take
especial delight in inducing young girls into their prem-
ises for the most flagrant purposes. Their brothels
are boldly open upon some streets, where boys are ruined
for life by visiting those abominable haunts.

Regardless of human life, they would to-day, if
they knew themselves to be powerful enough to escape
the vengeance which should follow the deed, murder
every white man and boy in the city, and only spare


the women and girls fora fate worse than death. They
have been a curse to every country where they have
gained a foothold."

Colonel Jonathan D. Stevenson was in command
of the New York regiment of one thousand volunteer
soldiers, which was sent by the United States Govern-
ment to California, with the following officers attached
thereto, namely :


Colonel, J. D. Stevenson.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Henry S. Burton.
Major, James A. Hardie.


Surgeon, Alexander Perry.

Asst. Surgeon, Robert Murray.

Asst. Surgeon, William C. Parker.

Captain William G. Macy, Commissary.

Lieutenant J. C. Bonnycastle, Adjutant.

Captain Joseph L. Folsom, Asst. Quarter-master.


Sergeant-Major, Alexander C. McDonald.
Quarter-master Sergeant, Stephen Harris.


Quarter-master Sergeant, George G. Belt.
Quarter-master Sergeant, James C. Low.


Sutler, Samuel W. Haight.
Clerk, James C. L. Wadsworth.


Captain, Seymour G. Stsele.
Lieutenant, George S. Penrose.
Lieutenant, Charles B. Young.
Lieutenant, George F. Lemon.
Sergeant, Sherman O. Houghton.
Sergeant, Walter Chipman.
Sergeant, Edward Irwin.


Captain, Turner.

Lieutenant, Henry C. Matsell.
Lieutenant, Thomas E. Ketchum.
Lieutenant, E. Gould Buffum.
Sergeant, James Stayton.
Sergeant, Charles C. Scott.
Sergeant, John Wilt.
Sergeant, Charles Richardson.
Sergeant, James D. Denneston.


Captain, J. E. Brackett.
Lieutenant, Per Lee R. Theron.


Lieutenant, Thomas J. Roach.
Lieutenant, Charles C. Anderson.
Lieutenant, Wm. R. Trammels, (Died off Cape

Lieutenant, George D. Brewerton.
Sergeant, Edmund P. Crosby.
Sergeant, William Johnson.
Sergeant, George Robinson.


Captain, Henry M. Naglee.
Lieutenant, George A. Pendleton.
Lieutenant, Hiram W. Theall.
Lieutenant, Joseph C. Morehead.
Sergeant, Aaron Lyons.
Sergeant, William Roach.
Sergeant, Henry J. Wilson.


Captain, Nelson Taylor.
Lieutenant, Edward Williams, j
Lieutenant, William E. Cuttrell.
Lieutenant, Thomas L. Vermule.
Sergeant, John M. O'Neil.
Sergeant, Henry S. Morton.
Sergeant, James Maneis.
Sergeant, Abraham Van Riper.


Captain, Francis J. Lippitt.
Lieutenant, Henry Storrow Carnes.


Lieutenant, William H. Weirick.
Lieutenant, John M. Huddart.
Sergeant, James Queen.
Sergeant, Thomas Hip wood.
Sergeant, James Mulvey.
Sergeant, John C. Pulis.


Captain, Matthew R. Stevenson.
Lieutenant, John Mcri. Rollings worth.
Lieutenant, Jeremiah Sherwood.
Lieutenant, William H. Smith.
Sergeant, Walter Taylor.
Sergeant, William B. Travers.
Sergeant, James Mehan.
Sergeant, John Connell.
Sergeant, George Jackson.


Captain, John B. Frisbie.
Lieutenant, Edward Gilbert.
Lieutenant, John S. Day.
Sergeant, Eleazer Frisbie.
Sergeant, William Grow.
Sergeant, Henry A. Schoolscraft.
Sergeant, James Winne.


Captain, William E. Shannon.
Lieutenant, Henry Magee.

Online LibraryWilliam Heath DavisSixty years in California : a history of events and life in California; personal, political and military, under the Mexican regime; during the quasi-military government of the territory by the United States, and after the admission of the state into the union, being a compilation by a witness of the → online text (page 38 of 41)