San Francisco History

Events of 1857

January 2, 1857—The ship BOSTONIAN arrived, bringing the celebrated SAM BRANNAN ENGINE, made to the order of Mr. BRANNAN, in New York, at an expense of $11,000, and presented by him to the Brannan Fire Association of this city.

January 5—Consul PATRICE DILLON, for several years resident Consul of France in this city, took his departure on the JOHN L. STEPHENS.

The State Legislature met at Sacramento. During the session, DAVID C. BRODERICK was elected U. S. Senator for the long term, and WM. M. GWIN for the short term. The Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the year 1856 was read; from which it appears that there were, at the close of the year, in thirty four counties, 316 schools, 30 of which were in the County of San Francisco. There were, in all, 26,160 children in attendance—4751 of these, in this city.

January 8—D. C. BRODERICK was elected by the Legislature, Senator for the long term. The election was made on the first ballot, which stood: for Broderick, 81; scattering, 28. The news was telegraphed to this city, when the friends of Mr. Broderick turned out en masse, fired guns to his honor, and made bonfires on the hills overlooking the city.

The first public Temperance Meeting in this city was held at the Baptist Church, on Pine Street. It was well attended, and about twenty names were added to the pledge. The meeting resolved to hold public meetings every month throughout the year; but the slim attendance at the next two meetings induced the friends of temperance to abandon the movement.

The annual report of the Trustees of the CATHOLIC ORPHAN ASYLUM, shows that on the 31st December there were one hundred and forty five children in that institution. The expenses from May 28, 1855 to December 27, 1856, amounted to $30,007.43.

January 9—The city was visited by a violent earthquake, which seemed to have extended nearly through the entire length of the State. In San Francisco it was felt at a quarter past 8 o’clock, A. M.; in Sacramento, at a quarter before 8 o’clock; and at San Diego and all along the Southern coast, at about half past 8 o’clock. On the coast it is represented as having been the severest shock experienced by the oldest inhabitants. In this city in many places, the clocks were stopped, and boxes and bales thrown from shelves in stores, and a small frame house at the corner of California and Market streets, thrown several feet from its foundations. In the last five years, no less than sixty shocks of earthquakes have been felt in this city and vicinity.

January 13—Wm. M.GWIN was elected by the Legislature Senator for the short term. The vote stood—for GWIN, 82; CRABB, 17; SERGEANT, 11; SHAFTER, 1.

The trial of gamblers arrested by the police officer on the night of the 7th came off before Judge COON. They were declared guilty, and his Honor ordered a fine of $100 to be entered against each of them.

January 20—The steamer ORIZABA left for Nicaragua, crowded with passengers. The prices were—first cabin, $150; second cabin, $100; steerage, $50. Tickets were sold for the steerage as low as $25.00.

Senators BRODERICK and GWIN left for Washington. Their friends assembled at North Point and honored them with a salute of twenty-five guns, as the steamer left for the port.

January 21—The officers of the U.S. Army met in session at the Tehama House, as a Court Martial, to investigate the charges of disobedience of orders and of conduct subversive of good order and military discipline, against Major R.B. LEE, of the Comissary Department. Col. FAUNTLEROY, President of the Court.

The Hon. H. A. CRABB, Col. R.N. WOOD, and other well-known personages, left on the steamer SEA BIRD for San Diego, en route for the GADSEN PURCHASE. The fate of the gallant company is well known.

A meeting of the merchants of the city was held, at which a series of resolutions were passed relative to the evils of the Attachment Laws, suggesting certain amendments; and a committee was appointed to present and urge the same for adoption by the Legislature.

January 22—The Legislature passed an act preventing the State Treasurer from paying out any moneys. A resolution was also passed appointing a Committee to investigate the Treasurer’s accounts, and to ascertain if the law had been violated in that department.

January 25 & 26—The Chinese New Year’s Day was celebrated. Tables laden wit the choice Chinese delicacies were prepared and set by the wealthy Chinese, and the time was passed in visiting and feasting. The performances at the Chinese theatre were kept up day and night without intermission.

January 28—Jose Y. LIMANTOUR was arraigned before the U. S. Circuit Court, and plead “not guilty” to the indictment of perjury found against him by the grand jury.

February 1—The seventh anniversary of the San Francisco Bible Society was held. The report gives the number of the volumes of the scriptures issued during the past year, as 4,815; of which 325 were in foreign languages, the remainder in English. 2,386 were copies of the Bible, the remainder of the copies of the New Testament. 400 copies were donated, the balance were sold.

In the evening, a destructive fire broke out in Washington Street near Kearny, in the building adjoining the chemical laboratory of Dr. LAUZSWEERT, and before the flames could be arrested, several frame buildings and contents were destroyed. Loss estimated at $50,000.

February 2—At a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the Board refused to pay the price demanded by the San Francisco Gas Company for lighting the streets and City Hall; and the consequence was that the gas was shut off, and the Hall and streets have remained in darkness ever since. At several subsequent meetings of the Board, each member brought his own candle.

In the U. S. District Court, in the case of JAS. McGUIRE and THOS. H. PLACE vs. the steamer GOLDEN GATE, Judge McALLISTER rendered an opinion giving judgment in favor or McGUIRE for $965, and in favor of PLACE for $250 and costs.

The causes of action were injuries sustained by the plaintiffs, passengers on the GOLDEN GATE, from certain of the officers of that steamer.

February 5—Sixty-five men embarked on the steamship SEA BIRD, with the intention of joining the forces of GANDARA, in the Mexican State of Sonora. The original number enlisted in this city was eight-six—twenty of whom backed out when their names were called. They were well supplied with United States arms and ammunitions.

Two distinct shocks of an earthquake were felt at about 7 o’clock, P. M. The sensation resembled the sudden jar as of an explosion by powder. No damage was done.

February 6—The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce appointed a committee to memorialize the proper department for the establishment of a penny post delivery for letters in the city, and also for the reduction of box rents.

February 10—The “Sailor’s Home” on Front Street, between Pacific and Broadway was solemnly dedicated with appropriate exercises. The institution was placed under the sole management of the ladies composing the Seamen’s Friend Society.

February 11—The State Treasurer was impeached at the bar of the Senate. In the afternoon Mr. BATES resigned the office, and James L. ENGLISH, former Mayor of SACRAMENTO, was appointed in his place.

February 17—The BRANNAN FIRE ASSOCIATION, with their splendid machine, turned out for the first time, and paraded through the streets. They were accompanied by a delegation from each of the city companies, by the Chief Engineer and Assistants, and the city authorities. It was a very imposing and creditable turn-out.

February 20—Major General JOHN E. WOOD, having resigned his position as Commander of the PACIFIC DIVISION, left on the steamer. Previous to his departure many of our prominent citizens tendered the General a public dinner, as a slight testimonial of their regard; but the official duties of Gen. W. were so pressing as to occupy all his time. His departure from our shores was announced by national salutes from FORT ALCATRAZ and FORT POINT.

February 22—Washington’s Birthday was generally observed throughout the city. All the banking houses and wholesale stores were closed. The military companies paraded in full uniform, and in the evening the CONTINENTAL GUARDS gave a grand ball.

February 24—The election for State Senator to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of HON. FRANK TILFORD. There were three candidates—F.A. WOOLWORTH, F. L. JONES. AND FRED. TRACY. Woolworth received 4,501 votes, giving him a majority of 1,121 over both his opponents.

February 28—The surviving passengers of the STEAMSHIP CALIFORNIA, which arrived here in 1849, celebrated the eighth anniversary of their arrival.

March 3—A fleet of clipper ships and other vessels arrived in the bay. Among them were the clippers WAR HAWK, MORNING LIGHT, WEST WIND, BEAVER and HARVEY BIRCH, and the Danish clipper ship CLIMBER. The latter made the passage from LIVERPOOL to the HEADS in 106 days, the shortest passage ever made from that port. She was built at Darmstadt, Germany, and is one of the finest specimens of naval architecture afloat.

March 19—In the evening, CALVARY CHURCH, on Bush Street, was discovered to be on fire; before the front doors could be beaten in, the building was densely filled with smoke, so that it was impossible for any one to enter. The streams of water were directed at random and an hour elapsed before the flames were subdued. The building was deluged with water and the library and furniture were destroyed. The building was fully insured. It required two months labor to put it in repair again. The fire was doubtless the work of an incendiary.

March 20—The mail steamer GOLDEN GATE left for PANAMA on her regular day of sailing, but had proceeded only as far as North Point when she struck a rock, and was so far injured as to be compelled to return and go upon the dry dock at BENECIA. She was detained until the 23d, when she left fully repaired.

April 7—The warmest day of the year. The thermometer stood in the shade, where there was a free circulation of air, as follows: --12 o’clock, 81 degrees; 1 o’clock, 82 degrees; 2 o’clock, 84 degrees; and at 3 o’clock, P.M., 86 degrees.

The OLD PIONEER SHIP ARKANSAS, which arrived here in 1849, under command of CAPT. W. W. SHEPHERD, and on which the United States Hotel on Pacific Street was built, was torn to pieces by the Chinese in April. The old hulk was sold for $1000. Most of the timbers appeared to be in a perfectly sound condition.

April 21—The barque OCEAN BIRD sailed for SAN JUAN DEL SUD, with fifty passengers and a load of freight destined for WALKER’s army. The freight consisted of provisions and munitions of war, and was in charge of MAJOR F. MAHON.

At half past 6 o’clock in the morning, a fire broke out in a frame building on Milton Place, which was quickly consumed. Two children, twin sons of MR. & MRS. MURRAY, burned to death. The firemen endeavored to penetrate the room in which they were sleeping, but as it was in a perfect mass of flame, they could not enter.

April 27—A destructive fire occurred, which consumed five frame buildings on Broadway, five on Dupont Street, and three on Adler Street. The buildings were all of the most flimsy and combustible material, and burned with fearful rapidity. The loss is estimated at about $25,000.00.

April 29—In the U.S. District Court, in the case of the U.S. vs. JOS. DE HARO, VINCENT P. GOMEZ testified that at Monterey, in 1850, he drew up the “POTRERO GRANT” and that afterwards the blanks were filled up and the signatures added. This evidence proved the Spanish title spurious.

May 1—Ninety laborers employed on the government works at ALCATRAZ ISLAND abandoned their work, in consequence of the inferiority of the food provided for them, and the compulsory payment of $6 per week exacted for it. Only four laborers were left on the island.

May 11—The ceremony of laying the corner stone of the FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, on Washington Street, was performed. The REV. MR. BRIERLY, pastor of the church, officiated, and the REV. A. A. GUERNSEY delivered the address.

May 28—Another destructive conflagration occurred. Which originated in the kitchen of the BARNUM RESTAURANT, on Commercial Street, south side, between Montgomery and Kearny, and before the flames were arrested eight frame buildings were destroyed. A man by the name of FRANCOIS JACONNETTI FRANCISCO, sleeping in the building adjoining the restaurant, was burned to death. From the second story of the same building, a woman, by the name of MINNA HARTER, was injured by leaping from the window into a blanket held below to receive her. She recovered from her injuries in a few days. The value of the buildings was trifling, only about $1500; loss of personal property, about $11,000.

EDWARD MCGOWAN, charged with being accessory to the murder of JAMES KING of WM., was tried at NAPA. The trial occupied four days, and on the 1st of June the jury, after a short consultation, brought in a verdict of “not guilty.”

June 4—MR. C. C. RUSS, proprietor of RUSS’ GARDEN, died, aged 62 years. He came to this country in 1847.

June 5—The GENESEE FLOUR MILLS, on Gold Street, between Montgomery and Sansome, were destroyed by fire. Loss in the building and material estimated at $20,000. The mill belonged to KENNEDY & HOPKINS, and covered an area of 67 by 79 feet.

June 7—R. E. WOODS, City and County Treasurer, surrendered the keys of his office to Mr. BURR, President of the Board of Supervisors, who place the Commissioners in possession. The cash on hand amounted to $20,565. WM. HOOPER was appointed Treasurer, pro tem, in place of Mr. Woods.

June 22—The ANNUAL COMMUNICATION OF THE GRAND LODGE for the State of California F. and A. MASONS, was held at Masonic Hall, when the following officers were elected and installed: LOUIS L. MORTIMER, M.W.G.M.; CHARLES W. PARKER, D.G.M.; WM. ISAACS, S.G.W.; HENRY C. CORNISH, JR., G.W.; ANTHONY OSBORNE, G.T.; JAS. G. MARSHALL, G.S.; R.W. FREEMAN, Cor. S.; JOHN P. SCOTT, G. TYLER. The session continued for three days.

The clipper ship GOLDEN FLEECE, which had just arrived from New York and was lying a few miles distant from the bay, struck on the North Shoal and received serious injury. She immediately set sail, entered the harbor and came alongside of Vallejo Street Wharf, when she immediately commenced discharging cargo, with seventeen feet of water in the hold. By constant working the pumps the water was reduced to seven feet, and the cargo was saved in tolerably good condition. About three years ago, a fine clipper, bearing the same name and commanded by the same officers as this one, was wrecked near the same spot where this clipper struck. She was beating out of port at the time, and became a total wreck.

June 29—A fine lot of valuable stock arrived by the steamer of June 5; among them were four bulls, imported by L. STONE, of Colusi; also a lot of beautiful merino sheep, imported by SAMUEL BRANNAN ESQ.

July 1—JOSE Y. LIMANTOUR and a number of witnesses in the Limantour case, arrived in the steamer SONORA from MEXICO. AUGUSTE JOUAN, a witness for the United States, came in the same steamer.

July 4, 1857—Was marked by no great municipal parade in the city. The stores, banks, markets and all other places of business were closed, and the population generally sought amusements. The day was ushered in by a salute from the OLD CALIFORNIA GUARD, CAPT. JOHNS, at a quarter to 5 o’clock, when immediately the bells of the churches and engine houses pealed forth that the anniversary of our independence had arrived; during the day salutes were fired from many vessels in the harbor, and the national stars and stripes floated from every mast in the bay and staff in the city. The INDEPENDENT GUARD, CAPT. WATSON, the NATIONAL GUARD, CAPT. MOORE, and the CALIFORNIA FUSILEETS, CAPT. SEIDENSTRIKER, turned out in full uniform and made a fine display. The FIRST LIGHT DRAGOONS, the CONTINENTAL GUARDS, and the YOUNG AMERICA GUARDS also paraded in the afternoon. The MARION RIFLES, with a brass band, proceeded to Mare Island, where they met the SUTTER RIFLES from SACRAMENTO, and engaged in target shooting. The steamboats GOLIAH and ANTELOPE carried large numbers of passengers to BENICIA and MARE ISLAND, and the OAKLAND and other ferry-boats were crowded all day. In the evening the CALIFORNIA GUARD fired a parting salute, and until a late hour at night the general jubilee was kept up by fire-crackers and exhibition of fire-works. The day passed off pleasantly, and but few accidents occurred to mar the pleasures of the celebration.

July 8—The steamer CONSTITUTION left for PUGET SOUND and returned on the 13th in a very leaky condition. Soon after passing POINT REYES she encountered a heavy sea and commenced leaking, and as all her pumps could not keep her free, a large portion of her cargo was thrown overboard. When off CAPE MENDOCINO it became evident that she could not complete her voyage, when she was turned about and headed for this port. She had eighty passengers on board, all of whom worked with good will.

July 9—A land-slide occurred at the government works at ALCATRAZ ISLAND, by which seven hundred tons of earth were removed, and two of the workmen, DANIEL PEWTER and JACOB UNGER, buried beneath the mass. Two other men were very severely injured, but afterwards recovered.

July 22—The Fourth Anniversary Meeting of the LADIES PROTECTION and RELIEF SOCIETY was held on the evening of this date, at the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. The Treasurer’s Annual Report was read, from which it appears that the Society received by donations, etc., during the year, $2,466.38, all of which, except $128.38, has been disbursed, besides which, 269 garments, 153 yards material, and 111 packages of groceries have been given away. The Society has relieved 207 cases, of destitution among women and children, and furnished many poor people with employment and the means of earning an honest livelihood.

July 26—The first regatta of the season came off on the Bay. The contending boats were the ALCATRAZ, FRANK FLINT, STAR OF THE SOUTH, AND BRECKINRIDGE. The stakes were $500, and were won by the ALCATRAZ, beating FRANK FLINT five minutes, and STAR OF THE SOUTH, seven minutes. The distance was from Shaw’s wharf to a stake near Fort Point and back.

July 26 and 27—the first annual Jubilee of the UNITED GERMAN MUSICAL SOCIETIES of the State was held on the 25th, and consisted of a grand concert, a picnic and ball. It was a very successful affair throughout. Tickets were sold amounting to $3,408.

July 29—JOHN BIGLER, U.S. MINISTER to CHILE, sailed from this port for Valpariso, he was accompanied outside of the Heads by a large party of friends.

August 5—The REV. MARY DE SALES, of the SISTERS OF MERCY, departed this life, and was buried on the 8th, in a vault under St. Mary’s Cathedral, with all the ceremonies of the Church. The lay name of the sister was JOANNA REDDIN. She was about 57 years of age, a native of Ireland, a cousin of the celebrated DANIEL O’CONNELL. She dedicated an immense fortune to religion, and for thirty years presided over the MAGDALEN ASYLUM OF LIMERICK, IRELAND, of which she was the founder. She was a pure and pious martyr, and sacrificed fortune and life in the cause of universal benevolence.

August 9—Was the “hot day.” The thermometer in the city at 12 o’clock, ranged from 102 to 115 in the shade. In many gardens, the sun gave such intense heat as to burn many leaves to a crisp.

August 10—The Chief of Police marched out of the station house to the Plaza, with eighteen of the most notorious thieves and vagrants that ever committed depredations on a community. They were handcuffed and tied two-by-two, and kept on the public square several hours, during which time they were subject to the gaze of thousands of persons. Public opinion was divided at the time as to the policy of this act on the part of the Chief — some pronouncing it a “horrible outrage on the public decency,” whilst others applauded the act, and urged regular public exhibitions of the well known thieves and pickpockets, that they might be known to the community and guarded against. Since the exhibition, most of those who were shown up have been convicted of crimes and are now in the State Prison, and the balance, who have been so fortunate to escape, have left the country.

August 14—The SETTLERS of the city and county held a large and enthusiastic meeting at Musical Hall. The meeting was eloquently addressed by several distinguished gentlemen, and resolutions adopted urging the Settlers throughout the State to support the SETTLERS’ STATE TICKET. The meeting acknowledged no obligation to the Democratic, Republican or other party, “being convinced that their duty to themselves, their families and the State is paramount to the obligations of party.”

August 15—That public edifice known as the Metropolitan Theatre was destroyed by fire, which broke out in the basement about 8 o’clock, and continued to burn until midnight, when almost the whole interior of the building was destroyed. The cisterns in the immediate neighborhood gave out early in the evening. This TEMPLE OF THE MUSES, decidedly the finest on the Pacific coast, was built in 1853, at a cost of $80,000, by Mr. JOSEPH TRENCH, and opened on Christmas Eve of that year, under the management of Mrs. C.N. SINCLAIR. At the time of the fire, the building was owned by H. HENTSCH and L.E. RITTER, whose loss is estimated at $50,000. There was no insurance.

August 17—It was discovered that the U.S. Mint had been robbed, and one of the employees, WM. BEIN, was suspected as being one of the thieves. He was closely watched for two days and then arrested. At first, when accused of the theft, he denied it; but subsequently, when it was determined to search his room, he acknowledged to the Superintendent that he was guilty. He told that officer that he had $7000 or $8000 in the vault, and begged him not to send him to the State Prison, but to take the money and pay for any losses that had occurred. He admitted that he had stolen two lots of clippings worth $3,333, and paid the amount over to the Superintendent, In his trunk was afterwards found a lot of gold and silver clippings and blanks, a lot of tools, crucibles, &c; which had also been stolen from the Mint. BEIN was tried for grand larceny and convicted.

August 21—An attempt was made to assassinate MANUEL CASTANARES, the chief witness of JOSE Y. LIMANTOUR, whose testimony had partially been taken before the U. S. Commission. He occupied a room in the third story of the Union Hotel, corner of Kearny and Merchant streets. About two o’clock in the morning, it appears some person unknown entered his apartment, took his knife from the bureau, approached the bed, and made one stroke at the sleeping man. The knife penetrated through a roll of bedclothes, and entered the right breast of CASTANARES, about an inch and a half. The blade struck a rib and glanced into the hollow of the breast. The knife was left in the wound. Before inflicting the wound, the assassin had overhauled and ransacked his papers, and abstracted some of value. A reward of $5000 was offered for the arrest of the attempted assassin, but he was never heard of. Some of the papers of the day uncharitably insinuated that it was a “made up affair.” Castanares soon recovered, concluded his testimony, and left for Mexico.

August 30—The Annual Regatta took place on the Bay. The race was contested by the yachts ALCATRAZ, Capt. TAYLOR; STAR OF THE MONTH, Capt. RATCLIFF; W.H. WOODWARD; Capt. KENNEDY; FRANK FLINT, Capt. BROWN, and FISHERMAN, Capt. WHITE. The boats started from the foot of Battery street to a stake boat at Fort Point, and back to the palce of starting. The race was well contested, and won by “FISHERMAN,” which came in in 3h. 26m. 10s., beating “W.H. WOODWARD,” the second boat, 3m. 21s.

September 4—The election for City and County officers was held, and was one of the most quiet and peaceable elections ever held in the city. Although there was much excitement, the whole number of votes polled in the twelve districts, amounted to only 10,585, being 1,567 less than were cast at the general election last year. The tickets known as the “PEOPLES’ TICKET,” was successful throughout the city.

September 5—The corner stone of the new GERMAN HOSPITAL, on Brannan street, was laid with appropriate ceremonies—the MASONS, ODD FELLOWS, and all the other benevolent institutions, with the GERMAN FUSILEERS, participating. N. GREEN CURTIS, M.W. G. M. of F. and A. MASONS, with the assistance of the GRAND LODGE, performed the ceremonies.

September 7—The most imposing spectacle ever witnessed on the Pacific coast was the celebration of the CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF LAFAYETTE, which took place on this date. Preparations had been going on for months, and full and complete committees had been appointed for each detail. At daylight, the first gun was fired, and in a few minutes after the streets were spanned with banners, and every flag-staff in the city, and all the shipping in the harbor were adorned. The MECHANICS INSTITUTE PAVILION was completely draped from every corner to the top of the dome, with hundreds of streamers from every nation. The banks and all the stores were closed; mechanical work of every description was postponed; the streets were crowded with men, and every window and balcony in the principal thoroughfares crowded with ladies and children. It required several hours to range in order, and to get all ready for the grand procession; during which time, the different companies and societies, with the appropriate banners and music, marched and countermarched through the streets. At 1 o’clock, however, the procession formed in six divisions; and each division under the care of a Marshal and Aids, and the whole under the direction of Chief Marshal J. P. HAVEN. The procession numbered near 3,500 persons, composed of nearly all the Military, the Fire Department, Masons, Odd Fellows, Foreign Consuls, etc. After marching through the city for two hours, the procession halted in the square in front of the Oriental Hotel, being the most convenient place in the city, capable of accommodating so large an assembly. Here a large platform had been raised, on which were seated the Foreign Consuls, the United States and State Officers, and the Press, and from which M.S. LATHAM, ESQ, delivered an appropriate poem. At 5 o’clock the ceremonies were concluded, and the various companies returned to their respective places for disbanding. The celebration of this day will be ever memorable in our annals.

September  8—On the morning of this date, the PAVILION of the MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE FAIR was first opened for the admission of visitors. It is impossible in our limited summary, to do justice to the exhibition, and we can only remark that it exceeded by far the anticipations of its warmest friends and projectors. On entering the pavilion, the visitor was surprised at the great multiplicity of beautiful objects before him, the exquisite taste displayed in draping and festooning the interior of the Pavilion, and the multiplicity of the choicest productions of nature and art presented to the view. A large number of the articles on exhibition were the productions of the soil of our own State, or the work of our artizans; yet many varieties were on exhibition from every quarter of the globe. Many gentlemen who attended the World’s Fair, at London and New York, assert that this first CALIFORNIA FAIR, considering all circumstances, compared most favorably with them, and far exceeded their expectations. During the continuation of the Fair, which was about three weeks, the Pavilion was densely crowded every night, and the Institute realized a handsome sum, although the expenses were very heavy. The management set apart the receipts of one day for the benefit of the orphans of the city, and the amount handed over was $1,334 80.

September 9—The cornerstone of the new First Presbyterian Church, on the west side of Stockton Street, between Washington and Clay, was laid. There was no particular ceremony on the occasion. The REV. DR. W. C. ANDERSON, REV. J. A. ANDERSON, and the trustees of the church, performed the ceremonies. The history of the church, a copy of each of the daily papers and other documents, were placed in the cornerstone.

The seventh Anniversary of the Admission of California into the Union, was celebrated by the SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA PIONEERS, assisted by large numbers of companies, societies, and citizens of the State. In the route of the procession, banners were thrown over the streets, and flags waved from all the engine houses and flag staffs in every portion of the city, and the American vessels in the bay were handsomely decorated by the flags of all nations. The day was held as a sacred holiday—the stores were all closed, and no business whatever was transacted. From an early hour in the morning the various bands, companies and societies paraded the streets, and at 1 o'clock, united in Market street, and formed into procession; and after a general review, marched to the AMERICAN THEATRE, where JUDGE T.W. FREELON delivered a suitable oration, and MR. EDWARD POLLOCK recited an original poem. At an early hour in the evening, the ceremonies of the day concluded, and the societies moved to their respective places of meeting and disbanded.

DR. HENRY BATES, ex-Treasurer of the State of California, was arrested, in obedience to a bench warrant issued at and transmitted from Sacramento. He was taken to the Capital by a police officer, the same afternoon.

September 19—The Grand Jury of the United States presented an indictment against AUGUSTIN HARAZTHY, for embezzling gold to the amount of $151,550, from the U.S. Branch Mint. The indictment set forth that the said melter and refiner did, while employed in the MInt, "unlawfully and feloniously embezzle a portion of the metals committed to his charge for the purpose of being coined, to wit: 8,092 ounces of gold bullion; and one gold bar, " the whole valued at the above amount. He was arrested the same evening by the U. S. Marshal, and admitted to bail, giving two sureties in $10,000 each, and himself the sum of $20,000.

September 26—WM. BEIN, convicted of embezzling gold to a large amount from the U. S. Branch Mint, was called up for sentence. He made a statement acknowledging that he had committed the act, and that his former confesions were true. On motion of the Dostrict Attorney, and in order to give BEIN time to settle up his affairs, his sentence was postponed for two weeks. At the end of that time, he was again called up and sentenced to be imprisoned at hard labor in the State Prison for the term of six years, and be fined in the sum of $2,000.

October 5 (Monday)—The steamer GOLDEN GATE left the wharf for PANAMA. She proceeded smoothly until half-past 11 o'clock on Tueday night, when by a sudden shock on board, it was apparent that some part of her machinery had become disarranged, and it appeared on examination that her main shaft had been snapped off, by which one wheel was rendered useless. As soon as the broken shaft was cleared away, she was started back of one wheel. In the morning, and when on her return, the passengers were not aware that any accident had occurred. When she reached her wharf the GOLDEN AGE was ready to take her place, and left at 8 o'clock on the next (Sunday)evening, with the passengers, mails, and treasure. The GATE was immediately sent to BENICIA, where she received a new shaft.

October 31—In the evening, a great Mass Meeting was held at Musical Hall, for the purpose of giving expression to public-feeling in regard to the loss of the steamship CENTRAL AMERICA. LAFAYETTE MAYNARD was appointed President, twenty Vice-Presidents were named and five Secretaries. After several addresses had been delivered, a long series of resolutions were unanimously adopted. One of the resolutions attributed the loss of the steamer to the negligence and indifference of the U.S. MAIL STEAMSHIP COMPANY to the safety of those whose money it had received, under the highest obligations on its part, to convey them to their port of destination, at least, as safely as the acts of God and the perils of the sea would permit; and that such negligence and indifference is little short of crime. The meeting also recommended that a steamship company should be formed whose stock shall be held and controlled in this State, and be directly responsible to the people. After the adoption of the preamble and resolutions, the following was offered, and carried by an unanimous vote: “Resolved, That Congress be most urgently requested to open and complete at least one Wagon Road to California, and protect the same by a sufficient military force, and that the same be completed in one year.”

November 2—In the evening, the steamer JOHN L. STEPHENS arrived, bring the news of the great financial panic in the East. It was the most important and thrilling intelligence that had ever been received, and its effects on California were sensibly felt. The banking house of SATHER & CHURCH, as well as two firms which had before been considered among the most substantial in the country, failed almost immediately on the receipt of the news. For a few days there was a complete stagnation in business, and it was with great difficulty that collections could be made for the next steamer day; but after the steamer had left, business revived, and as no more failures occurred, confidence was restored.

November 3—The French frigate PERSEVERANTE arrived in our bay, from the SANDWICH ISLANDS. REAR-ADMIRAL LUGUEL, commander of the French squadron in the Pacific, was on board. The Perseverante mounts sixty guns, and had a crew of 560 men. She remained about three weeks, during which time, many of our citizens visited her. The officers and crew received every attention, and on their departure, expressed themselves highly gratified with their visit to California.

November 4—SATHER & CHURCH, bankers, furnished for publication a statement of their affairs, which shows the following result:

Bills receivable, checks on other banks, advances to gold dust correspondents, and real estate—$464,000

Due depositors on book account, and on certificates of deposit—$242,000
Assets over the amount due—$222,000

Of the Bills Receivable, most of them would be due in thirty days.

Several convicts at the State Prison were killed, under the following circumstances: A boat loaded with wood, having a number of convicts on board, was moored at the wharf. When the wood was partially unloaded, the prisoners endeavored to move the boat further along; having orders to do so, they say, from the overseer. As the boat moved, one of the guard by the name of CORTIN, who was on an eminence about two hundred yards distant, standing by a loaded six-pounder, says he thought the prisoners were endeavoring to escape, and fired the gun, killing three men, and wounding four or five others. Two of the wounded have since died. The cannon was loaded with grape shot.

November 7—WM. B. CHAPMAN, the well known comedian, departed this life, aged 70 years. “UNCLE BILLY,” as he was familiarly termed by those with whom he was intimate, was decidedly the best artist in his line that has ever appeared in California. He came to this country in 1852, and immediately determined to make it his permanent home. He was a great favorite, and will long be regretted by thousands of friends and all lovers of drama in the State. His funeral was very largely attended.

November 18—The annual examination of the public schools of this city commenced, and resulted in showing that our educational institutions are in a high state of uselfulness and efficiency.

AUGUSTIN HARASZTHY, late Melter and Refiner in the U.S. Branch Mint, indicted for the alleged embezzlement of $251,000 from the Government, was arraigned in the U.S. District Court on the 23d November. He waived the reading of the indictment, pleaded not guilty, and asked for a continuance of the case. He filed an affidavit, in which he stated, that time would be required to prepare himself for trial, as he would have to make out a full and complete account of his term of office; a work of intricacy and complication. He also averred that two important and material witnesses were absent, and he could not safely proceed to trial without them. On consideration, the case was continued by the Court until the third Monday in February, 1858, for trial.

November 20—On the night of this date, the building known as the HELVETIAL HOUSE, on Clay Street, between Drumm and East, with several adjoining buildings, were destroyed by fire, the result of accident. Loss estimated at $12,000.

November 21—The boy WILLIAM KELLY, aged only ten years, but one of the most noted thieves in town, was convicted of grand larceny, and sent to the County Jail for sixty days. Had there been a House of Refuge in the county, he would have been sent there with his numerous accomplices.

An ordinance was passed by the Board of Supervisors, to suppress the sale of obscene books, papers, prints, etc.

Mr. F. MAHONEY was re-elected President of the Board of Delegates of the San Francisco Fire Department. Term of service, one year.

November 23—The U. S. Branch Mint resumed operations, and notwithstanding the withdrawal by the United States of the “bullion fund,” and the consequent inability to make prompt returns, the deposits came in as fast as usual. The deposits of gold during the first three days amounted to 25,517 ounces, equal to $433,800.

November 26 (Thursday)—Was observed generally as a day of Thanksgiving. The stores and banking houses were all closed, and morning and evening services were performed at all churches. There was a great demand in our markets for turkeys, and on Wednesday morning they sold readily at 40 cents per pound; but by Thursday, 11 o’clock in the morning, they commanded $1 per pound, at which price a great many were sold.

The jury, in the case of HENRY BATES, charged with plundering the State Treasury, failed to agree. Before the trial, some of the Sacramento papers openly charged that the jury was packed for that purpose.

November 27—The banking house of J. C. PALMER, formerly PALMER, COOK & CO., was closed by attachments sued out by J.H. TURNER and M.G.REED, for $36,690. Reed was Palmer’s book-keeper. On each suit attachments were issued and served. The bank was closed by the Sheriff, and the keys taken possession of by him.

November 28—JUDGE HAGER, of the Fourth District Court, made a decree in the ADAMS & CO. case, ordering the $50,000, in the hands of the Receiver, be distributed among the creditors, and that the Receiver proceed at once to settle up the estate by prosecuting pending suits to judgment, and by collecting and selling at auction all the bills receivable, notes, etc. belonging to Adams & Co. The decree was appealed from the first attaching creditors.

The U. S. Circuit Court had decided that the steamers CORTES, BROTHER JONATHAN, UNCLE SAM AND PACIFIC are the property of CONRNELIUS VANDERBILT. Mr. GARRISON, through his agents, appealed to the Supreme Court.

The average number of patients in the U. S. Marines Hospital, per month, for ten months, from January 1 to October 1, 1857, was 151—total number, 1510; deaths during the same period, 45. The average monthly expenses of the Hospital are $3800.

November 29—In the case of JAMES GALBRAITH, to the tract called “BOLSA DE TOMALES”, five square leagues in Marin county, in the U. S. District Court a decree of confirmation was entered. In this case, the grant was made in June, 1846, after the declaration of war between the United States and Mexico, which took place on May 19th, 1846. There is consequently an important question decided by the confirmation; that is, a grant made after the declaration of war may still be valid.

During the last week in November, District Attorney OSBORNE commenced suits against some seven or eight hundred parties for non payment of State licenses. In such cases the amount of license is doubled when sued for, besides which $20 is added for Court and lawyer’s fees, so that if the original license was $15, when collected by suit, the party would be compelled to pay $50.

December 4—A case that excited great interest in the community came on for trial in the Court of Sessions. The grand Jury had found a true bill against the publishers of the Morning Call newspaper, for publishing an editorial charging criminality on the part of MAJOR J. R. SNYDER, Treasurer of the U. S. Branch Mint in this city. The article was published on the 15th of last September, and pronounced a libel, inasmuch as it charged Major Snyder with having proved faithless in his position; with having recommended SZABO as successor of HARASZTHY; with conniving at the frauds of the late MELTER & REFINER, etc. COLS. BAKER and HART, with District Attorney OSBORNE appeared for the prosecution, and MESSRS. J.V. WATSON and H. S. LOVE on the part of the defense. The case occupied two days, and the principal witnesses for the prosecution and defense were persons connected with the Mint. In the course of the trial, Mr. HEMPSTEAD, SUPERINTENDENT, testified that there was a deficiency of $152,000 in HARASZTHY’s accounts; that he had spoken to Haraszthy concerning it, and that officer told him that some if went up the chimney; that he might have, by accident, turned over bars twice; and that employees under him might have stolen the money. He always denied any fraud on his part, or the connivance of any one else. Mr. Hempstead said that “during the time Haraszthy was in the Mint there were three settlements; the wastage on the first settlement was about 204 ounces; the next one was a bad settlement, and the last was an awful one.” After hearing all the evidence, the accused waived the opening address; Col. Baker, for the prosecution, made an eloquent summing up, which was most ably responded to by Mr. Watson. At 11 o’clock on Saturday night the Court gave a short by impartial charge, and the jury retired, but returned at 12 o’clock, when in answer to the usual question, the foreman said, “There is no possibility of an agreement upon a verdict.” JUDGE FREELON then discharged the jury and the Court adjourned, sine die.

ANTONIO ORLINSKI was arrested by the police for grand larceny. On the examination of his effects his trunks were found to contain gold watches, diamond jewelry, silver ware, valuable cases of surgical instruments, and other articles to the amount of ten or fifteen thousand dollars, all of which had been stolen from our citizens. As soon as the articles were exposed to view, many of them were recognized and claimed from whom they had been stolen. On Saturday, ORLINSKI was brought into the Police Court, when he was examined on six different charges of grand larceny. The proof was clear against him, and he was sent to the Court of Sessions for trial on each case. Orlinski was temporarily confined in the Station House, but being a desperate villain was determined not to remain there. By some means he had been furnished with a file, a crowbar, and a pair of pincers, and on Wednesday morning, the 9th inst., about half past three o’clock, having succeeded in loosening one of the wooden bars of his cell, he crept stealthily up behind OFFICER MOORE, who was seated by the stove, raised the bar and inflected a stunning blow upon the Officer’s head., knocking him to the floor senseless. He then dealt him two other blows on the head, fracturing his skull, and left him for dead. The villain then robbed the officer of $40, took the jail key from his pocket, let himself out, and walked leisurely through the rear of City Hall. The alarm was soon given and he was followed, but made good his escape. This fellow is a Polander by birth, aged about 37 years. He is an escaped convict from his own country, and is said to have served three years in the penitentiary in one of the Eastern states. He is certainly one of the most desperate scoundrels we ever had amongst us. Orlinski was retaken at a pawnbroker’s on Commercial street. It appears that he had secreted himself among the sand hills in the immediate vicinity of the Court, and had made several visits to the City in disguise.

December 7—JUDGE FREELON delivered an opinion on the RONDO case. R.A. POTTER had been convicted in the Police court under the old law of 1855 for playing the gambling of RONDO, and fined 100 dollars. The case was appealed and brought before Judge FREELON on a Habeas Corpus. His Honor said that he was satisfied that there was no repeal of this law of 1855 as to games of chance, and therefore the conviction was rightly had. It was ordered that the prisoner be remanded to custody.

The FIREMAN’s ELECTION, under the CONSOLIDATION ACT, took place. There were four candidates for Chief Engineer—Messrs. WHITNEY, NUTTMAN, O’BRIEN, AND LANE. The contest was very warm and exciting between the first two named, and the vote stood as follows: F.E.R. WHITNEY, 400; JAMES NUTTMAN, 395; O’BRIEN, 60; LANE. 55. Whitney, having a plurality of five votes, was elected. At a meeting of the Board of Delegates, held on Tuesday evening, Mr. NUTTMAN gave notice that he should contest the election. The term of service is three years. D.T. VAN ORDEN was elected First Assistant, to serve three years; L.H. ROBIE, Second Assistant, two years; and CORNELIUS WALSH, Third Assistant, one year.

The following gentlemen were elected Directors of The SACRAMENTO VALLEY RAILROAD for the ensuing year: J. P. CROCKET, G.C. JOHNSON, C.K. GOODWIN, WM. FREEBORN. G.F. BRAGG. T.F. MOSS, J. B. BAYERQUE, G. TOUCHARD(?), H. R. PAYSON, W. C. RALSTON, J. P. ROBINSON, H.W. HARKNESS and S.J. FIELD.

December 9—Articles of Incorporation were filed in the office of the Secretary of State in favor of San Francisco Market Street Railroad.

December 22—A dreadful murder and suicide took place at the Red House, near the Race Course. The proprietor, SYLVESTER MURPHY, aged 27, a native of PITTSBURG, PA; murdered a servant named MARY ANN MCGLYNN, aged 23, by shooting her in the head and then cutting her throat; afterwards he took his own life by inflicting with a small knife, eight stabs upon his left breast and also by cutting his own throat. The whole affair is wrapped in mystery.

December 24—A slight shock of earthquake was felt in this city, about half past ten o’clock, A. M.

December 25—Christmas Day was celebrated in an appropriate manner. Service was performed in various churches throughout the city; business was suspended, and everyone gave themselves up to the enjoyment of merry Christmas.

December 3—Number of applications in insolvency, during the year 130, of which 55 were made in the Fourth District and 75 in the Twelfth District. The totals of liabilities are not as large as in the failures of 1856, and not near as large as in 1855, as will be seen by the following tables:

In 1855: Number of applications, 197; liabilities $8,377,827; assets $1,516,175; balance of failure, $6,861,652.
In 1856: Number of applications, 146; liabilities $3,401,042; assets $657,908; balance of failure $2,743,134.
In 1857: Number of applications, 136; liabilities $2,719,497; assets $271,507; balance of failure $2,447,990.

Number of divorce suits instituted in San Francisco during the year 1857, 106; of which 36 were commenced in the Fourth District, and 70 in the Twelfth District Court. In 40 of these cases, decrees of divorce have already been granted.

The total number of CLAIMS FOR LAND under MEXICAN TITLES in the NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA is 426. Of these, 211 are finally settled in favor of the claimants. These claims cover in all 2,469,338, or upwards of 11,000 acres on an average. Of the remainder, 72 have been finally rejected or dismissed; about 70 are yet undecided, and the remainder have been appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

The amount of fines imposed by the Police Court for the thirteen months ending this date is $34,686, of which $20,560 was collected.

Source: Langley, Henry G. The San Francisco Directory; Chronological History of Principal Events. 1858.

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