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Eighteenth streets. The latter street was then called Ocean
avenue. Then the public school department of Los Angeles
employed fifty teachers — now seven hundred. Then the
monthly pay roll of the teachers footed up $3,700 — now $53,-


ooo, or more than half a milHon a year. Then there was not a
telephone in the city. The mail and the messenger boy were
the mediums of intercomimunication between citizens, and the
wrath of a sender as often boiled hot against the leaden-footed
errand boy as it now does against the slow-moving hallo girl.

Twenty years ago the street car system of Los Angeles con-
sisted of two horse car lines. One, starting from the junction
of Spring and Main, ran down to Washington street, then west
on Washington to Figueroa and southwestward to Agricul-
tural Park. The other line extended from Pearl and Sixth
streets to Jphnson street in East Los Angeles. Time on these
lines, a car every 15 minutes^ This was regarded a great im-
provement; only a short time before the cars ran every half
hour — that is if the mules consented. Should the propelling
power object, or if the car jumped the track, as it frequently
did when the mule became frightened, there might be a delay
of half an hour or so in prying it back to the track, a labor in
which the passengers were expected to lend a hand. There was
a branch line that ran up Main to Arcadia and on to Aliso and
across the river to Boyle Heights. The one car of this system
made a round trip every two hours. It was regarded as a great
convenience to the dwellers on the Heights. A single fare was
10 cents, and a patron had to buy a dollar's worth of tickets to
secure a five-cent fare.

When our society was born there was no free mail delivery —
no letter carriers, and not a mail box in the city except at the
postof^ce. Every one went to the postoffice, then located near
the corner of Spring and First streets, for his mail. The popu-
lation of the city was about 14,000.

The conditions in the country around were as primative as in
the city. There was not an interurban railroad in the country.
Electricity as a propelling power was unknown and as an illu-
minating agent it was regarded as a bugbear tO' frighten gas

Los Angeles, two decades ago, had but one transcontinental
railroad, the S. P. R. R. Many of the flourishing towns of the
county that now aspire to be cities had neither a habitation or a
name. The site of Monrovia was a cattle range, and that of
Ocean Park uninviting sand dunes. The sites of Azusa City,
Duarte, Glendora, Lordsburg, Claremont, Covina, Arcadia,
Garvanza, Burbank, Alhambra, Ocean Park, Whittier, Holly-
wood and Avalon were either barley fields or barren wastes.
Pasadena had a postofifice and a cross-roads store — these and


nothing more in the shape of a town. That aristocratic city of
milHonaires, twenty years ago, had no railroads, no hotels and
no public conveyance to and from Los Angeles except a spring
wiagon that made a round trip once a day and carried passengers
when there were any to carry at the rate of 50 cents fare each
way. Long Beach, then known as Willmore City, was an in-
significant burg of a dozen rough board houses. It was vainly
trying to attract settlers by promising to be very, very good,
and to exclude forever from: within its portals intoxicating
drinks. Its promises were regarded as pipe dreams. How
could a city thrive and grow without stimulants? There was
not then a temperance town in the county. Avalon, the me-
tropolis of Catalina Island, had no place on the map. Its site
was a houseless waste where the wild goats nibbled the scanty
verdure unscared by sound of human footfall. Three years later
the wild goats were driven away and the jew fish vexed by the
founders of Shatto City — the predecessor and progenitor of

Briefly and imperfectly I have endeavored to limn for you a
picture of Los Angeles and the country around as they were
when our society was formed. Then and now are only two
decades apart, yet what changes, what momentous events fill
up the space between! Even had our society done nothing
more than record the current events of our city's history as
they passed it would deserve well of the community. It has
done more. It has gathered the history of the long past as
well as that of more recent years. We have endeavored to pre-
serve these for the future historian. We have published five
volumes of history, aggregating 1500 octavo pages. We have
issued seventeen annual publications of papers read before the
society. Ten thousand copies of these have been distributed
throughout the United States and foreign countries. They have
gone into England, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy
and Spain. They have crossed the wide Pacific to Australia
and New Zealand. They may be found in the historical so-
cieties and universities of the Dominion of Canada. Through-
out the United States from Maine to Alaska and from the great
lakes to the gulf in public or in historical society Hbraries you
may find copies of the annual publications of the Historical
Society of Southern California. Our pubHcations are valued
and appreciated by the librarians of the great Hbraries of our
own and foreign countries. Bound volumes of our books could
be found on the shelves of the great historical library of Wis-


consin; in the library of the University of New York; and in
that of the Royal College of Belles Lettres of Stockholm, Swe-
den, long before they appeared in the reference room of our
own city library.

Judging by the past it would seem as if Californians were
afraid or ashamed to have the history of their state written.

The one man — Hubert Howe Bancroft — who by collecting
and preserving historical material that but for him would have
been destroyed^ — has made it possible to have a complete and
reliable history of California, has been abused and his work
belittled by scribbling flunkeys and partisan bigots because he
told some unpalatable truths about certain men and certain
institutions. The state should buy his collection and build an
historical building in which to place it where it might be made
available to students of history.

No state of the Union has a more varied, a more interesting
or a more instructive history than California, and no state in
the Union has done less to preserve its history.

Wisconsin, with less wealth and half a century less history,
has spent a million dollars on her historical building and library.
Minnesota, that was an inchoate territory with a few white in-
habitants in it when California become a state, has recently
completed a handsome and commodious building for its his-
torical society. When Kansas and Nebraska were uninhabited
except by buffaloes and Indians, California was a populous state
pouring fifty millions of gold yearly into the world's coffers.
For more than a quarter of a century, these states from their
public funds have maintained historical societies that have gath-
ered great stores of valuable historical material, while Califor-
nia, without a protest, has allowed literary pot-hunters and
curio collectors to rob her of her historical treasures.

Montana, Washington and the two Dakotas^ that were In-
dian hunting grounds when California wai a state of a quarter
million inhabitants, have each its State Historical Society sup-
ported by appropriations from' the public funds. How long
will California endure the disgrace of being the only state
west of the Rocky Mountains that has no state historical so-
ciety — the only state that does not appropriate a dollar to pre-
serve its history? How long! How long!


(Presented to the Historical Society by his daughter, Miss
Elizabeth B. Fremont.)

Washington City, October 8th, 1847.

To the Secretary of War.

Sir : In the execution of my duties as military commandant
during the war in California and afterwards as civil governor
of the territory I incurred m'any liabilities, some of which I
think it absolutely necessary to bring to your attention. These

I St. The payment of the volunteers for their services dur-
ing the war and for supplies in arms and other necessaries fur-
nished by them.

2nd. Payment to citizens of that territory of money loaned
to me by them, and which was required and expended in ad-
ministration of the government and partial payment of the

The principal amount required for payment of the troops
is comprehended in what is due to the volunteer emigrants for
services during the insurrection in the southern part of Upper
California. These men were just arriving on the frontier of the
territory and at the first call for their service quitted their fami-
lies, leaving them unprotected and exposed to the inclem'encies
of a rainy winter, and repaired to my camp, bringing with them
arms, ammunition, wagons and money, all of which they freely
contributed to the public service. These men returned tO' their
families without money and without clothes, and the long delay
of payment has consequently created much dissatisfaction.

Paper given to them by properly authorized officers as cer-
tificates of service has been depreciated by officers recently in
command and much of it consequently sold at one tenth of its
true value. As these public services were rendered promptly
and in good faith by all concerned at a time of imminent dan-
ger to the American army, I trust that some measure will be
taken properly tO' recognize them; and to redeem the pledges
made to the people by myself in my public and private ca-
pacity. For this purpose I enclose a brief estimate from the
paymaster of the battalion. (This paper has been lost.)

lette;r from col. john. e. fre^mont. 49

Amounts of money required for civil and military purposes were
at different times and by different individuals principally Mex-
ican citizens loaned to me as the Governor of the Territory,
acknowledged as such by them. The sums of money are not
large, but, having been obtained under the high rates usual in
that country., public interest is suffering by the delay. The
libilities which require immediate attention amount to forty
thousand dollars.

The two subjects which I have here presented for your
consideration are causes of much dissatisfaction in the terri-
tory, and I have thought it a matter of duty to myself and the
people with whom I have been connected, as well as to the
government, respectfully to apply for the means of removing it.
I have the honor to be with much respect
Your obedient servant,

Lieut. Col. Regiment Mounted Riflemen.


(By J. M. Guinn.)

The following depositions taken before First Alcalde Don
Abel Stearns of Los Angeles in 1850 give the most correct ac-
count in existence of the Indian depredations on the Colorado
which gave rise to the first Indian war in which the Americans
were engaged after the conquest of California.

These depositions have never before been pubHshed, nor is
there a correct account of the massacre of Dr. Lincoln's party
given in any history of California.

Dr. A. L. Lincoln, an educated man, a native of Illinois,
and a relative of President Lincoln, came from Mexico to Cali-
fornia in 1849. After visiting the mines he returned to the
Colorado river, and about the first of January, 1850, estab-
lished a ferry at the junction of the Colorado and Gila. The
Sonoranian migration to the gold mines of California was then
at its height and the ferry business was immensely profitable.
Glanton's party, mainly Texans and Missourians, came by way
of Chihuahua and arrived at the Colorado February 12, 1850.
Dr. Lincoln, being short of hands, employed nine of them to
assist him, and the six men then in his employ remaining made
a party of fifteen. Glanton, from all accounts, seems to have
been somewhat of a desperado, and Lincoln would have been
glad to have gotten rid of him; but he constituted himself chief
manager of the ferry. His overbearing conduct and ill treat-
ment of the Indians no doubt brought about the massacre of
the eleven ferry men. The Americans and Sonoranians had not
sufifered from Indians previous to Glanton's arrival. The ac-
count of the origin of the hostility of the Indians to the Ameri-
cans, as given by Hill in his deposition is doubtless the true one.
The Yumas continued to commit atrocities on American immi-
grants by the Gila route for several years. They were finally
subjugated by Col. Heintzelman and forced to sue for peace.

When the report of the massacre of the ferrymen reached
the state capital. Governor Burnett ordered the sheriff of Los
Angeles county to enroll forty men and the sheriff of San Diego
twenty. These were to be placed under the command of Major


General Bean of the State Militia, a resident of Los Angeles.
Bean ordered his quartermaster, General Joseph C. Morehead,
to provide supplies for the expedition. Morehead did so, buy-
ing liberally at extravagant prices and paying in drafts on the
state treasury.

Gen, Morehead, with a force of forty men and supplies for a
hundred, marched against the Indians. By the time he reached
the Colorado his force had been increased to- 125 men — recruited
principally from incoming immigrants. On the approach of
the troops the Indians fled up the river. Morehead and his In-
dian fighters encamped at the ferry crossing and vigorously
attacked their rations. After a three months' campaign against
their rations, liquid and solid, Governor Burnett, who in the
meantime seems to have lost sight of the fact that he had an
army in the field, issued a peremptory order to Major Gen.
Bean to disband his troops. Bean ordered Morehead to return,
but that valiant soldier claimed he was affording protection to
the immigrants by the Gila route, and asked for an extension of
time. But the orders from the Governor were imperative, and
the force was disbanded.

Thus ended the "Gila Expedition," or, as it was sometimes
called, the "Glanton War." It was short and inglorious, but
fearfully expensive. It cost the infant commonwealth $120,000
and was the first item of the Indian war debt that two years later
amounted to nearly a million dollars and came near bankrupt-
ing the state. So far as known no Indians were killed. Neither
Bean nor Morehead made an official report of the expedition.

William Carr, whose deposition is given, like Achilles, was
shot in the heel with an arrow, but, unlike that doughty chief-
tain, he survived the wound. Carr, after his escape from the
Indians, although wounded, went to San Diego to secure some
mules left there by Glanton. He came from there to Los An-
geles, when he fell into the hands of good Samaritans, who
dressed his wounds and cared for him. The doctor who dressed
his wound charged $500. The man who boarded him put in a
bill of $120. The patriot who housed him wanted $45; and the
paisano who nursed him figured his services at $30. The Los
Angeles Court of Sessions allowed the bills and charged them
up to the state. With such charges for one wounded man it
was fortunate for the state that Morehead's Gila Expedition was
a bloodless affair.


Declarations Taken in Relation to the Massacre of Dr. Lincoln
and His Party on the Colorado River. — Deposition of
William Carr.
On this ninth day of May, in the year of Our Lord, Eighteen
Hundred and Fifty, before me, Abel Stearns, first Alcalde of
the District of Los Angeles, and Judge of the first instance in
the criminal law, personally appeared William Carr, who being
duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that on the 23rd day of April
in said year, being one of the company hereinafter named as
owning the boats and other property connected with the ferry
on the Colorado at the junction of said riyer and the Gila, he
and Marcus L. Webster and Joseph A. Anderson, were engaged
about midday in the woods within three hundred yards of the
houses belonging to said company at said ferry, which said
houses were within one hundred yards of the river and on the
American side, within the jurisdiction of the state of CaHfornia.
Deponent and the persons above named were cutting poles,
and while thus engaged, some fifteen or twenty Indians of the
Yuma tribe came out, some of them saying that the captain,
that is to say, John Glanton, had sent them to cut poles, and
asking for a hatchet. As it was unusual, in fact, they had never
before been thus employed, deponent determined to watch
them; a hatchet was given tO' one of them, with which he com-
menced cutting. Deponent observed that he was cutting very
near the head of one of the said Americans, and, distrusting his
intentions, drew a pistol, whereupon they ran away, circling
round to get to the houses. Deponent and his said companions
immediately determined to make for the houses, but before they
got out of the woods heard a yell; they went on out of the
bushes and instantly were fired upon by the Indians. Deponent
thinks at least forty guns were fired. There being Httle chance
for escape, deponent and the others commenced firing, running
at the same time to gain the houses; from these they made for
a Mexican camp, but were refused admittance; they then made
for the river, the Indians retreating from the boat, which depon-
ent and the others immediately entered. When deponent went
to the woods as above stated, six men of the company had
crossed to the other side with one of the boats, for the purpose

de;predations of the yumas. 53

of bringing over the animals, etc., of the Sonoranians, many of
whom were crossing at this time. The rest of the company,
numbering five, remaining on the American side at the houses.
Deponent, on approaching the shore, was well satisfied that the
individuals last named were all killed, but thought the others
who had crossed were safe, seeing them, as he supposed, in the
boat; he called to them, but received no answer, though the
boat was crossing then. In the meantime, the fight between
the deponent's party and the Indians continued, during which
they received many vollies from the Indians, both of arrows and
balls, and from each side of the river, deponent receiving a
wound with an arrow in his leg. Deponent's party pushed ofi
with the boat, down the river, the Indians pursuing on foot and
horseback; but after going thus about fourteen miles, deponent
found they had outstripped the Indians, only one being able to
keep up. He and his companions landed on the side of the
river nearly opposite 'Algodones, abandoned the boat and took
to the woods, and remained there till moonrise. Going down to
the river they found the Indians had taken their boat and towed
it up the river. Apprehensive that the Indians were still in the
neighborhood, they returned to the woods and proceeded that
night down the river some fourteen miles below Algodones,
where they made a raft and crossed the river, this being the
24th; unexpectedly, having taken up a creek, they came upon
some twenty Indians who had evidently been watching them.
On presenting a pistol at them, all ran for their animals, except
a man and boy, who followed deponent's party, saying in Span-
ish : "You had better get away, for we intend to kill you."

These were repeatedly defied to come near, but they never
could be got within pistol shot. Deponent turned and ran after
them, when all the Indians fled, and were not seen again. At
this time two of deponent's party each had five shots with their
six-shooters, and one of the party only a single shot. That
night the party went up the river and struck the main road with-
in a mile of Algodones,', passing in the meantime several Indians'
houses where they all were asleep, and could easily have been
killed, but deponent's companions were unwilling to have it
done, upon the ground of being without ammunition, though
deponent desired it. Pursuing the main road, they reached the
Mexican camp that was at the ferry when the Indian attack com-
menced. They reached this camp at daylight of the 25th, not
having eaten anything since dinner on the 23rd. Deponent
alone had seen the dead body of Glanton at the house, which


they had attempted to reach as first above stated; he did not
see any of the others, but the particulars of the affair were ex-
plained by the Mexicans. As usual, that day the Indians had
been playing about the establishment, some on one side of the
river, some on the other, though on that day they seemed to
have collected in a very large number; though, neither by their
arms, or other circumstance, excited any suspicion. Glanton
and Dr. A. L. Lincoln were asleep at the time of the attack.
A Mexican woman who was at the time sewing in Lincoln's tent
told deponent that the chief of the Yumas came in and hit the
doctor on the head with a stone, whereupon he sprang to his
feet, but was immediately killed with a club. Another woman
relates the death of Glanton as occurring in the same manner.
The three others were killed, the manner not known, and none
had an opportunity of killing any of the Indians. Three of the
tribe were killed in the fight with deponent's party. Deponent
is well convinced that the men who had crossed the river were
all killed, and the Mexicans say that the bodies of five of them
were brought over to this side and burned, as also were the
bodies of Dr. Lincoln, Glanton, and the others killed on shore.
Dr. Lincoln's dog, and two other dogs, were tied to his body
and that of Glanton and burnt alive with them. A large quan-
tity of meat was thrown into the fire at the same time. The
houses were also burnt down. The bodies of John A. Johnson,
Wm. Prewett and John Dorsey were burnt up with the cook's
house, which had been set fire to. One of the men in the boat
was a negro; his name John Jackson; he made some resistance
and in the scufHe was thrown overboard and drowned. It seems
that the attack was made just as those who had crossed with the
boat struck the shore, the Indians being in the habit of jumping
in to help them. The Indians immediately dressed themselves
in the clothes of the men, a circumstance that deceived depon-
ent when he first reached the river as above stated, for he then
supposed he saw the men on the other side and called to them
to make haste over with the boat. The names of the five thus
killed in the boat were Thomas Harlin, of Texas; Henderson
Smith, of Missouri; John Gunn, of Missouri; Thomas Watson,
of Philadelphia; James A. Miller, New Jersey; Dr. Lincoln was
of St. Louis, Mo.; John J. Glanton, of San Antonio, Texas;
John Jackson, of New York; Prewitt, of Texas, and Dorsey, of
Missouri. Deponent knows that there were in the hands of Dr.
Lincoln $50,000 in silver — but knows not the amount of gold;
supposes it to be between $20,000 and $30,000; all this is of


the proceeds of the ferry during- the time said company occupied
it, to-wit, from' about the first of March last. The company
also owns $6000 now deposited with Judge Hays, of San
Diego, California, and also 22 mules and two horses and pro-
visions, all at San Diego. No other persons were interested in
said company but the above named persons (except Jackson
and Miller), and another now in San Diego, to-wit., David
Brown was also interested; the Mexicans say that the Indians
declare that they are at war with the Americans, do not intend
tO' sufTer them at the ferry, and will kill all who come to their
country; that they want to fight with the Americans. These
Indians have since pursued two Americans who are now in Los
Angeles, some thirty miles, and previously robbing them of
everything they had.

Deponent, since he has been in Los Angeles, has heard
some reports in reference to Glanton, or others of said company,
robbing or otherwise mistreating Americans and Sonoraians.
He has been with said company from the beginning, and posi-
tively and unequivocally denies the truth of such reports. As
to the charges of ferriage, they were high, but the expenses of
maintaining such a ferry, transportation of provisions from a
great distance^ etc., amply justify the charges. There was one
man killed, an Irishman named Callahan, who had once been
in the employ of said company, but discharged for incompe-
tency, and had worked a while with the Indians at their ferry;
he soon returned, informing us that the Indians had robbed

Online LibraryHistorical Society of Southern CaliforniaAnnual publication of the Historical Society of Southern California and of the Pioneers of Los Angeles County (Volume yr.1902-1904) → online text (page 15 of 29)