San Francisco History

The Annals of San Francisco



WERE not the plan, scope and purpose of the present volume sufficiently explained in the text of the work itself, we should despair of adequately initiating the reader in these subjects in the limited space necessarily assigned to a Preface. It is not necessary to offer a reason for the appearance of these "Annals." To read and to know something of the history of this new Tadmor which has grown up so suddenly in the midst of what was but recently merely a desert, the centre of that vast trade which the golden smile of California opened at once to the world, is so natural and inevitable a desire, that it may be taken for granted, and dismissed as a foregone conclusion. The plan of the work is such as its nature seemed to require, and the style and manner of treatment must rest for approval and criticism with the Public, for whom it was written and to whom it is now submitted.

To avoid the necessity of frequent references in the body of the work to authorities, and to those who have generously extended to the authors facilities for its production, the Preface has been selected as the most fitting place for expressing our obligations. For unrestricted access to the "Californian," the "California Star," and the "Alta California" newspaper files, we are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Edward Conner, one of the proprietors of the last named journal. Much valuable statistical and other information has been derived from the "San Francisco Herald," full files of which were kindly placed at our disposal by its editor and proprietor, Mr. John Nugent. The "California Chronicle," from its commencement to the date of publication of this volume, was also placed by the proprietors at our service. We are likewise indebted to Messrs. T. J. Nevins and Wm. H. O'Grady for information respecting the public schools; to Mr. J. L. Van Bokkelin, for important facts concerning the fire department; to Mr. A. G. Randall, for particulars in regard to military organizations; to Rev's T. Dwight Hunt, Albert Williams, J. L. Ver Mehr, S. H. Willey and O. C. Wheeler, for matter relating to the early state of religion and churches in San Francisco; to Messrs. Thomas O. Larkin, William A. Richardson, Jacob P. Leese, Jacob R. Snyder, James Caldwell Low, Hiram Pierson, J. D. Stevenson, Samuel Brannan, R. H. Perry, David Jobson, Samuel J. Bayard, Nathaniel Gray and James King of William, for much useful and interesting information regarding the early and present history of the city; to Mr. J. M. Ford, daguerreian artist, for gratuitous services in taking portraits of many of the gentlemen whose memoirs are given; and to our citizens generally who have freely responded to our call for information, whenever they have been appealed to for that purpose. Many biographical sketches designed for this work have been omitted for want of room, the volume having extended to nearly double the size originally intended and promised. These, however, with other interesting matters connected with the progress of San Francisco, and a history of all the important cities and towns of California, will be published at an early day, in another volume, a great portion of the material for which is already prepared.

The necessity of condensing within the reasonable space of a single volume, the history of a city which has occupied for the five or six years of its existence so much of the attention of the world, and the unavoidable collateral history of California, has prevented, to some extent, a natural impulse and inclination to indulge more at length in many interesting details. But it is believed that the gist of the whole matter is embraced in the history as written, and that no important event has been omitted, which would have been of interest to the general reader.

Seal of the Society of California Pioneers.

Jacob R. Snyder, President.

G. B. Post, San Francisco.
J. C. L. Wadsworth, San Francisco.
B. S. Lippincott, San Francisco.
J. P. Leese, Monterey.
J. Belden, Santa Clara.
H. W. Theall, Tuolumne.
P. C. Carillo, Santa Barbara.
J. A. Sutter, Sutter.
J. Bidwell, Butte.
P. B. Cornwall, Sacramento.
W. A. Richardson, Marin.
G. Yount, Napa.
H. L. Ford, Colusi.
C. R. Johnson, Los Angeles.
S. Purdy, San Joaquin.

J. Caldwell Low, Secretary.
W. T. Sherman, Treasurer.

Board of Directors.
W. Van Voorhies,
J. M. Huxley,
O. P. Sutton,
G. F. Lemon,
J. Shew,
S. W. Haight,
T. A. Warbass.

Corresponding Members.
D. S. Turner,
S. R. Harris,
F. Soule,
W. B. Farwell,
A. G. Abell.

Source: Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon, M.D., and James Nisbet. The Annals of San Francisco. 1855: San Francisco.

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