1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/California
CALIFORNIA, one of the Pacific Coast states of the United States of America, physically one of the most remarkable, economically one of the more independent, and in history and social life one of the most interesting of the Union. It is bounded N. by Oregon, E. by Nevada and Arizona, from which last it is separated by the Colorado river, and S. by the Mexican province of Lower California. The length of its medial line N. and S. is about 780 m., its breadth varies from 150 to 350 m., and its total area is 158,207 sq. m., of which 2205 are water surface. In size it ranks second among the states of the Union. The coast is bold and rugged and with very few good harbours; San Diego and San Francisco bays being exceptions. The coast line is more than 1000 m. long. There are eight coast islands, all of inconsiderable size, and none of them as yet in any way important.
Physiography.—The physiography of the state is simple; its main features are few and bold: a mountain fringe along the ocean, another mountain system along the east border, between them—closed in at both ends by their junction—a splendid valley of imperial extent, and outside all this a great area of barren, arid lands, belonging partly to the Great Basin and partly to the Open Basin region.
Along the Pacific, and some 20–40 m. in width, runs the mass of the Coast Range, made up of numerous indistinct chains—most of which have localized individual names—that are broken down into innumerable ridges and spurs, and small valleys drained by short streams of rapid fall. The range is cut by numerous fault lines, some of which betray evidence of recent activity; it is probable that movements along these faults cause the earthquake tremors to which the region is subject, all of which seem to be tectonic. The altitudes of the Coast Range vary from about 2000 to 8000 ft.; in the neighbourhood of San Francisco Bay the culminating peaks are about 4000 ft. in height (Mount Diablo, 3856 ft.; Mount St Helena, 4343 ft.), and to the north and south the elevation of the ranges increases. In the east part of the state is the magnificent Sierra Nevada, a great block of the earth’s crust, faulted along its eastern side and tilted up so as to have a gentle back slope to the west and a steep fault escarpment facing east, the finest mountain system of the United States. The Sierra proper, from Lassen’s Peak to Tehachapi Pass in Kern county, is about 430 m. long (from Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou county to Mt. San Jacinto in Riverside county, more than 600 m.). It narrows to the north and the altitude declines in the same direction. Far higher and grander than the Coast Range, the Sierra is much less complicated, being indeed essentially one chain of great simplicity of structure. It is only here and there that a double line of principal summits exists. The slope is everywhere long and gradual on the west, averaging about 200 ft. to the mile. Precipitous gorges or canyons often from 2000 to 5000 ft. in depth become a more and more marked feature of the range as one proceeds northward; over great portions of it they average probably not more than 20 m. apart. Where the volcanic formations were spread uniformly over the flanks of the mountains, the contrast between the canyons and the plain-like region of gentle slope in which they have been excavated is especially marked and characteristic. The eastern slope is very precipitous, due to a great fault which drops the rocks of the Great Basin region abruptly downward several thousand feet. Rare passes cross the chain, opening at the foot of the mountains on the east and the west high on their flanks, 7000–10,000 ft. above the sea. Between 36° 20′ and 38° the lowest gap of any kind is above 9000 ft., and the average height of those actually used is probably not less than 11,000 ft. The Kearsarge, most used of all, is still higher. Very few in the entire Sierra are passable by vehicles. Some forty peaks are catalogued between 5000 and 8000 ft., and there are eleven above 14,000. The highest portion of the system is between the parallels of 36° 30′ and 37° 30′; here the passes are about 12,000 ft. in elevation, and the peaks range from 13,000 ft. upward, Mount Whitney, 14,502 ft., being the highest summit of the United States, excluding Alaska. From this peak northward there is a gradual decline, until at the point where the Central Pacific crosses in lat. 39° 20′ the elevation is only 7000 ft.
Of the mountain scenery the granite pinnacles and domes of the highest Sierra opposite Owen’s Lake, where there is a drop eastward into the valley of about 10,000 ft. in 10 m.; the snowy volcanic cone of Mt Shasta, rising 10,000 ft. above the adjacent plains; and the lovely valleys of the Coast Range, and the south fork of the King river—all these have their charms; but most beautiful of all is the unique scenery of the Yosemite Valley (q.v.). Much of the ruggedness and beauty of the mountains is due to the erosive action of many alpine glaciers that once existed on the higher summits, and which have left behind their evidences in valleys and amphitheatres with towering walls, polished rock-expanses, glacial lakes and meadows and tumbling waterfalls. Remnants of these glaciers are still to be seen,—as notably on Mt. Shasta,—though shrunk to small dimensions. Glacial action may be studied well as far south as 36°. The canyons are largely the work of rivers, modified by glaciers that ran through them after the rivers had formed them. All of the Sierra lakes and ponds are of glacial origin and there are some thousands of them. The lower lake line is about 8000 ft.; it is lower to the north than to the south, owing to the different climate, and the different period of glacial retrogression. Of these lakes some are fresh, and some—as those of the north-east counties—alkali. The finest of all is Tahoe, 6225 ft. above the sea, lying between the true Sierras and the Basin Ranges, with peaks on several sides rising 4000–5000 ft. above it. It is 1500 ft. deep and its waters are of extraordinary purity (containing only three grains of solid matter to the gallon). Clear Lake, in the Coast Range, is another beautiful sheet of water. It is estimated by John Muir that on an average “perhaps more than a mile” of degradation took place in the last glacial period; but with regard to the whole subject of glacial action in California as in other fields, there is considerable difference of opinion. The same authority counted 65 small residual glaciers between 36° 30′ and 39°; two-thirds of them lie between 37° and 38°, on some of the highest peaks in the district of the San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne and Owen’s rivers. They do not descend, on an average, below 11,000 ft.; the largest of all, on Mt. Shasta, descends to 9500 ft. above the sea.
Volcanic action has likewise left abundant traces, especially in the northern half of the range, whereas the evidences of glacial action are most perfect (though not most abundant) in the south. Lava covers most of the northern half of the range, and there are many craters and ash-cones, some recent and of perfect form. Of these the most remarkable is Mt. Shasta. In Owen’s Valley is a fine group of extinct or dormant volcanoes.
Among the other indications of great geological disturbances on the Pacific Coast may also be mentioned the earthquakes to which California like the rest of the coast is liable. From 1850 to 1887 almost 800 were catalogued by Professor E. H. Holden for California, Oregon and Washington. They occur in all seasons, scores of slight tremors being recorded every year by the Weather Bureau; but they are of no importance, and even of these the number affecting any particular locality is small. From 1769 to 1887 there were 10 “destructive” and 24 other “extremely severe” shocks according to the Rossi Forel nomenclatural scale of intensity. In 1812 great destruction was wrought by an earthquake that affected all the southern part of the state; in 1865 the region about San Francisco was violently disturbed; in 1872 the whole Sierra and the state of Nevada were violently shaken; and in 1906 San Francisco (q.v.) was in large part destroyed by a shock that caused great damage elsewhere in the state.
North of 40° N. lat. the Coast Range and Sierra systems unite, forming a country extremely rough. The eastern half of this area is covered chiefly with volcanic plains, very dry and barren, lying between precipitous, although not very lofty, ranges; the western half is magnificently timbered, and toward the coast excessively wet. Between 35° and 36° N. lat. the Sierra at its southern end turns westward toward the coast as the Tehachapi Range. The valley is thus closed to the north and south, and is surrounded by a mountain wall, which is broken down in but a single place, the gap behind the Golden Gate at San Francisco. Through this passes the entire drainage of the interior. The length of the valley is about 450 m., its breadth averages about 40 m. if the lower foothills be included, so that the entire area is about 18,000 sq. m. The drainage basin measured from the water-partings of the enclosing mountains is some three times as great. From the mouth of the Sacramento to Redding, at the northern head of the valley, the rise is 552 ft. in 192 m., and from the mouth of the San Joaquin southward to Kern lake it is 282 ft. in 260 m.
Two great rivers drain this central basin,—the San Joaquin, whose valley comprises more than three-fifths of the entire basin, and the Sacramento, whose valley comprises the remainder. The San Joaquin is a very crooked stream flowing through a low mud-plain, with tule banks; the Sacramento is much less meandering, and its immediate basin, which is of sandy loam, is higher and more attractive than that of the San Joaquin. The eastward flanks of the Coast Range are very scantily forested, and they furnish not a single stream permanent enough to reach either the Sacramento or San Joaquin throughout the dry season. On the eastern side of both rivers are various important tributaries, fed by the more abundant rains and melting snows of the western flank of the Sierra; but these streams also shrink greatly in the dry season. The Feather, emptying into the Sacramento river about 20 m. N. of the city of Sacramento, is the most important tributary of the Sacramento river. A striking feature of the Sacramento system is that for 200 m. north of the Feather it does not receive a single tributary of any importance, though walled in by high mountains. Another peculiar and very general feature of the drainage system of the state is the presence of numerous so-called river “sinks,” where the waters disappear, either directly by evaporation or (as in Death Valley) after flowing for a time beneath the surface. These “sinks” are therefore not the true sinks of limestone regions. The popular name is applied to Owen’s lake, at the end of Owen’s river; to Mono lake, into which flow various streams rising in the Sierra between Mount Dana and Castle Peak; and to Death Valley, which contains the “sink” of the Amargosa river, and evidently was once an extensive lake, although now only a mud-flat in ordinary winters, and a dry, alkaline, desert plain in summer. All these lakes, and the other mountain lakes before referred to, show by the terraces about them that the water stood during the glacial period much higher than it does now. Tulare lake, which with Buena Vista lake and Kern lake receives the drainage of the southern Sierra, shows extreme local variations of shore-line, and is generally believed to have shrunk extremely since 1850, though of this no adequate proof yet exists. In 1900 it was about 200 sq. m. in area. In wet seasons it overflows its banks and becomes greatly extended in area, discharging its surplus waters into the San Joaquin; but in dry seasons the evaporation is so great that there is no such discharge. The drainage of Lassen, Siskiyou and Modoc counties has no outlet to the sea and is collected in a number of great alkaline lakes.
Finally along the sea below Pt. Conception are fertile coastal plains of considerable extent, separated from the interior deserts by various mountain ranges from 5000 to 7000 ft. high, and with peaks much higher (San Bernardino, 11,600; San Jacinto, 10,800; San Antonio, 10,140). Unlike the northern Sierra, the ranges of Southern California are broken down in a number of places. It is over these passes—Soledad, 2822 ft., Cajon, San Gorgonio, 2560 ft.—that the railways cross to the coast. That part of California which lies to the south and east of the southern inosculation of the Coast Range and the Sierra comprises an area of fully 50,000 sq. m., and belongs to the Basin Range region. For the most part it is excessively dry and barren. The Mohave desert—embracing Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, as also a large part of San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties—belong to the “Great Basin,” while a narrow strip along the Colorado river is in the “Open Basin Region.” They have no drainage to the sea, save fitfully for slight areas through the Colorado river. The Mohave desert is about 2000 ft. above the sea in general altitude. The southern part of the Great Basin region is vaguely designated the Colorado desert. In San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties a number of creeks or so-called rivers, with beds that are normally dry, flow centrally toward the desert of Salton Sink or “Sea”; this is the lowest part of a large area that is depressed below the level of the sea,—at Salton 263 ft., and 287 ft. at the lowest point. In 1900 the Colorado river (q.v.) was tapped south of the Mexican boundary for water wherewith to irrigate land in the Imperial Valley along the Southern Pacific railway, adjoining Salton Sea. The river enlarged the canal, and finding a steeper gradient than that to its mouth, was diverted into the Colorado desert, flooding Salton Sea; and when the break in this river was closed for the second time in February 1907, though much of its water still escaped through minor channels and by seepage, a lake more than 400 sq. m. in area was left. A permanent 60 ft. masonry dam was completed in July 1907. The region to the east of the Sierra, likewise in the Great Basin province, between the crest of that range and the Nevada boundary, is very mountainous. Owen’s river runs through it from north to south for some 180 m. Near Owen’s lake the scenery is extremely grand. The valley here is very narrow, and on either side the mountains rise from 7000 to 10,000 ft. above the lake and river. The Inyo range, on the east, is quite bare of timber, and its summits are only occasionally whitened with snow for a few days during the winter, as almost all precipitation is cut off by the higher ranges to the westward. Still further to the east some 40 m. from the lake is Death Valley (including Lost or Mesquite Valley)—the name a reminder of the fate of a party of “forty-niners” who perished here, by thirst or by starvation and exposure. Death Valley, some 50 m. long and on an average 20–25 m. broad from the crests of the inclosing mountain ranges (or 5–10 m. at their base), constitutes an independent drainage basin. It is below sea level (about 276 ft. according to recent surveys), and altogether is one of the most remarkable physical features of California. The mountains about it are high and bare and brilliant with varied colours. The Amargosa river, entering the valley from Nevada, disappears in the salty basin. Enormous quantities of borax, already exploited, and of nitrate of soda, are known to be present in the surrounding country, the former as almost pure borate of lime in Tertiary lake sediments.
The physiography of the state is the evident determinant of its climate, fauna and flora. California has the highest land and the lowest land of the United States, the greatest variety of temperature and rainfall, and of products of the soil.
Climate.—The climate is very different from that of the Atlantic coast; and indeed very different from that of any part of the country save that bordering California. Amid great variations of local weather there are some peculiar features that obtain all over the state. In the first place, the climate of the entire Pacific Coast is milder and more uniform in temperature than that of the states in corresponding latitude east of the mountains. Thus we have to go north as far as Sitka in 57° N. lat. to find the same mean yearly temperature as that of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in latitude 44° 39′. And going south along the coast, we find the mean temperature of San Diego 6° or 7° less than that of Vicksburg, Miss., or Charleston, S.C. The quantity of total annual heat supply at Puget Sound exceeds that at Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cleveland or Omaha, all more than
500 m. farther south; Cape Flattery, exposed the year round to cold ocean fogs, receives more heat than Eastport, Maine, which is 3° farther south and has a warmer summer. In the second place, the means of winter and summer are much nearer the mean of the year in California than in the east. This condition of things is not so marked as one goes inward from the coast; yet everywhere save in the high mountains the winters are comparatively mild. In the third place, the division of the year into two seasons—a wet one and a dry (and extremely dusty) one—marks this portion of the Pacific Coast in the most decided manner, and this natural climatic area coincides almost exactly in its extension with that of California; being truly characteristic neither of Lower California nor of the greater part of Oregon, though more so of Nevada and Arizona. And finally, in the fourth place, except on the coast the disagreeableness of the heat of summer is greatly lessened by the dryness of the air and the consequent rapidity of evaporation. Among the peculiarities of Californian climate it is not one of the least striking that as one leaves the Sacramento or San Joaquin plains and travels into the mountains it becomes warmer, at least for the first 2000 or 3000 ft. of ascent.
Along both the Coast Range and the Sierra considerable rainfall is certain, although, owing to the slight snow accumulations of the former, its streams are decidedly variable. A heavy rain-belt, with a normal fall of more than 40 in., covers all the northern half of the Sierra and the north-west counties; shading off from this is the region of 10-20 in. fall, which covers all the rest of the state save Inyo, Kern and San Bernardino counties, Imperial county and the eastern portion of Riverside county; the precipitation of this belt is from 0 to 10 in. In excessively dry years the limits of this last division may include all of the state below Fresno and the entire Central Valley as well. In the mountains the precipitation increases with the altitude; above 6000 or 7000 ft. it is almost wholly in the form of snow; and this snow, melting in summer, is of immense importance to the state, supplying water once for placer mining and now for irrigation. The north-west counties are extremely wet; many localities here have normal rainfalls of 60-70 in. and even higher annually, while in extreme seasons as much as 125 in. falls. Along the entire Pacific Coast, but particularly N. of San Francisco, there is a night fog from May to September. It extends but a few miles inland, but within this belt is virtually a prolongation of the rainy season and has a marked effect on vegetation. Below San Francisco the precipitation decreases along the coast, until at San Diego it is only about 10 in. The south-east counties are the driest portions of the United States. At Ogilby, Volcano, Indio and other stations on the Southern Pacific line the normal annual precipitation is from 1.5 to 2.5 in.; and there are localities near Owen’s lake, even on its very edge, that are almost dry. For days in succession when it storms along the Southern California coasts and dense rain clouds blow landwards to the mountains, leaving snow or rain on their summits, it has been observed that within a few miles beyond the ridge the contact of the desert air dissipates the remaining moisture of the clouds into light misty masses, like a steam escape in cold air. The extreme heat of the south-east is tempered by the extremely low humidity characteristic of the Great Basin, which in the interior of the two southernmost counties is very low. The humidity of places such as Fresno, Sacramento and Red Bluff in the valley varies from 48 to 58. Many places in northern, southern, central, mountain and southern coastal California normally have more than 200 perfectly clear days in a year; and many in the mountains and in the south, even on the coast, have more than 250. The extreme variability in the amount of rainfall is remarkable. The effects of a season of drought on the dry portions of the state need not be adverted to; and as there is no rain or snow of any consequence on the mountains during summer, a succession of dry seasons may almost bare the ranges of the accumulated stock of previous winter snows, thus making worse what is already bad.
The Colorado desert (together with the lower Gila Valley of Arizona) is the hottest part of the United States. Along the line of the Southern Pacific the yearly extreme is frequently from 124° to 129° F. (i.e. in the shade, which is almost if not quite the greatest heat ever actually recorded in any part of the world). At the other extreme, temperatures of -20° to -36° are recorded yearly on the Central (Southern) Pacific line near Lake Tahoe. The normal annual means of the coldest localities of the state are from 37° to 44° F.; the monthly means from 20° to 65° F. The normal annual means on Indio, Mammoth Tanks, Salton and Volcano Springs are from 73.9° to 78.4 F.; the monthly means from 52.8° to 101.3° (frequently 95° to 98°). The normal trend of the annual isotherms of the state is very simple: a low line of about 40° circles the angle in the Nevada boundary line; 50° normally follows the northern Sierra across the Oregon border; lines of higher temperature enclose the Great Valley; and lines of still higher temperature—usually 60° to 70°, in hotter years 60° to 75°—run transversely across the southern quarter of the state.
Another weather factor is the winds, which are extremely regular in their movements. There are brisk diurnal sea-breezes, and seasonal trades and counter-trades. Along the coast an on-shore breeze blows every summer day; in the evening it is replaced by a night-fog, and the cooler air draws down the mountain sides in opposition to its movement during the day. In the upper air a dry off-shore wind from the Rocky Mountain plateau prevails throughout the summer; and in winter an on-shore rain wind. The last is the counter-trade, the all-year wind of Alaska and Oregon; it prevails in winter even off Southern California.
There is the widest and most startling variety of local climates. At Truckee, for example, lying about 5800 ft. above the sea near Lake Tahoe, the lowest temperature of the year may be -25° F. or colder, when 70 m. westward at Rocklin, which lies in the foothills about 250 ft. above the sea, the mercury does not fall below 28°. Snow never falls at Rocklin, but falls in large quantity at Truckee; ice is the crop of the one, oranges of the other, at the same time. There are points in Southern California where one may actually look from sea to desert and from snow to orange groves. Distance from the ocean, situation with reference to the mountain ranges, and altitude are all important determinants of these climatic differences; but of these the last seems to be most important. At any rate it may be said that generally speaking the maximum, minimum and mean temperatures of points of approximately equal altitude are respectively but slightly different in northern or southern California.
Death Valley surpasses for combined heat and aridity any meteorological stations on earth where regular observations are taken, although for extremes of heat it is exceeded by places in the Colorado desert. The minimum daily temperature in summer is rarely below 70° F. and often above 90° F. (in the shade), while the maximum may for days in succession be as high as 120° F. A record of 6 months (1891) showed an average daily relative humidity of 30.6 in the morning and 15.6 in the evening, and the humidity sometimes falls to 5. Yet the surrounding country is not devoid of vegetation. The hills are very fertile when irrigated, and the wet season develops a variety of perennial herbs, shrubs and annuals.
Fauna.—California embraces areas of every life-zone of North America: of the boreal, the Hudsonian and Canadian subzones; of the transition, the humid Pacific subzone; of the upper austral, the arid or upper Sonoran subzone; of the lower austral, the arid or lower Sonoran; of the tropical, the “dilute arid” subzone. As will be inferred from the above account of temperature, summer is longer in the north, and localities in the Valley have more hours of heat than do those of south California. Hence that climatic characteristic of the entire Pacific Coast—already referred to and which is of extreme importance in determining the life-zones of California—the great amount of total annual heat supply at comparatively high latitudes. A low summer temperature enables northern species to push far southward, while the high heat total of the year enables southern species to push far north. The resultant intermingling of forms is very marked and characteristic of the Pacific Coast states. The distribution of life-zones is primarily a matter of altitude and corresponds to that of the isotherms. The mountain goat and mountain sheep live in the Sierran upper-land, though long ago well-nigh exterminated. The Douglas red squirrel is ubiquitous in the Sierran forests and their most conspicuous inhabitant. White-tailed deer and especially black-tails are found on the high Sierra; the mule deer, too, although its habitat is now mainly east of the range, on the plateau, is also met with. Grizzly, black, cinnamon and brown bears are all Californian species once common and to-day rare. When Americans began to rule in California elk and antelope herded in great numbers in the Great Valley; the former may to-day sometimes be seen, possibly, in the northern forests, and the latter occasionally cross into the state from Nevada. The sage-hen is abundant on the eastern flank of the Sierra. Grouse, quail, crows and woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) furnish species characteristic of the state. There are various species of ground-squirrels and gophers, which are very abundant. Noteworthy in the animal life of the lower Sonoran and tropic region are a variety of snakes and lizards, desert rats and mice; and, among birds, the cactus wren, desert thrasher, desert sparrow, Texas night-hawk, mocking-bird and ground cuckoo or road runner (Geococcyx Californianus). The California vulture, the largest flying bird in North America and fully as large as the Andean condor, is not limited to California but is fairly common there. In the zoology and botany of California as of the rest of the Pacific Coast, the distinctions between the upper austral and humid transition zones are largely obliterated; and as one passes southward into the arid lands, life forms of both these zones intermingle with those of the arid transition.
Fish are abundant. The United States fish commission, and an active state commission established in 1869, have done much to preserve and increase this source of food. In 1904 the yield of the fisheries of the three Pacific Coast states was 168,600,000 ℔s, valued at $6,681,000,—nearly half that of the New England states, more than one-third that of the Middle Atlantic states and more than that of the South Atlantic and Gulf states combined. Of the total, California yielded between a quarter and a third. A third of her fish comes from the Sacramento river. Some 230—more or less—marine food fishes are to be found in the market at San Francisco. The exports of fish from that port from 1892–1899 were valued at from $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 annually. Native oysters are small and of peculiar flavour; eastern varieties also are fattened, but not bred in California waters. Shrimp are abundant; the shrimp fishers are Chinese and four-fifths of the catch is exported to China. Sturgeon were once the cheapest fish after salmon; to-day, despite all efforts to increase the supply, they are the dearest. Salmon, once threatened with extinction, have been saved, maintained in good supply, and indeed have probably regained their pristine abundance. Shad and striped bass are both very abundant and cheap. Black bass, flounders, terrapin, sea-turtles, perch, turbot, sole and catfish are also common. Great herds of seals once lay like toll-gatherers off the Golden Gate and other bays of the coast, taking a large share of the salmon and other fish; but they are no longer common. The sea-lions sometimes raid the rivers for 100 m. inland. They have greatly increased since hunting them for their hides and oil ceased to be profitable, and thousands sometimes gather on the Farallones, off the Golden Gate.
Flora.—Inclusiveness of range in the distribution of vegetable life is perhaps more suggestive than the distribution of animal species. The variation is from dwarf mountain pine to giant cactus and dates. The humid transition belt is the habitat of California’s magnificent forests. Nut pine, juniper and true sage-brush (Artemisia tridentata) characterize the upper Sonoran,—although the latter grows equally in the transition zone. Cereals, orchard fruits and alfalfa are of primary importance in the upper and of secondary importance in the lower Sonoran. In the arid portions of this and the tropic areas the indigenous plants are creosote, mesquite and alfileria bushes, desert acacias, paloverdes, alkali-heath, salt grass, agaves, yuccas (especially the Spanish-bayonet and Joshua tree) and cactuses. Among exotics the Australian saltbush spreads successfully over the worst alkali land. The introduction of other exotics into these zones,—made humid by irrigation, which converts them, the one into true austro-riparian the other into true humid tropical,—has revolutionized the agricultural, and indeed the whole, economy of California. At the two ends of Cajon Pass, only four or five kilometres apart, are the two utterly distinct floras of the Mohave desert and the San Bernardino valley. Despite the presence of the pass, plants do not spread, so great is the difference of climatic conditions. On the desert the same plant will vary in different years from 4 in. to 10 ft. in height when equally mature, according to the rainfall and other conditions of growth. Many mature plants are not taller than 0.4 to 0.8 in. The tree yucca often attains a height of 20 to 25 ft., and a diameter of 1.5 ft. About 600 species of plants were catalogued in desert California in 1891 by a government botanical party. The flora of the coast islands of California is very interesting. On Santa Cruz Professor Joseph Le Conte found 248 species, nearly all of which are distinctively Californian, 48 being peculiar to the surrounding islands and 28 peculiar to Southern California. Various other things indicate a separation of the islands from the mainland in quaternary times; since which, owing to the later southward movement on the continent of northern forms in glacial times, there has been a struggle for existence on the mainland from which the islands have largely escaped.
Forests.—The forests and agricultural crops of the state demand particular notice. In 1900 the woodland was estimated by the United States census at 22% of the state’s area, and the total stand at 200,000 million ft. of timber. The variety of forest trees is not great, but some of the California trees are unique, and the forests of the state are, with those of Oregon and Washington, perhaps the most magnificent of the world. At least the coniferous forests which make up nine-tenths of California’s woodland surpass all others known in number of species and in the size and beauty of the trees. Forty-six species occur, namely, 32 species of pitch trees (18 pines), 12 species of the cypresses and their allies (2 sequoia), and 2 species of yews or their allies. Peculiar to California are the two species of sequoia (q.v.),—the redwood (S. sempervirens), and the big-tree (S. gigantea), remnants of an earlier age when they were common in other parts of the world. The redwood grows only in a narrow strip on the Coast Range from Southern Oregon (where there are not more than 1000 acres) down nearly to the Golden Gate, in a habitat of heavy rains and heavy fogs. They cover an area of about 2000 sq. m. almost unmixed with other species. One fine grove stands S. of San Francisco near Santa Cruz. These noble trees attain very often a height of more than 300 ft., frequently of 350 and even more, and a butt diameter of more than 15 to 20 ft., with clean, straight fluted trunks rising 200 ft. below the lowest branches. They grow in a very dense timber stand; single acres have yielded 1,500,000 ft. B.M. of lumber, and single trees have cut as high as 100,000 ft. The total stand in 1900 was estimated by the United States census as 75,000,000,000 ft., and the ordinary stand per acre varies from 25,000 to 150,000 ft., averaging probably 60,000 ft. The redwood is being rapidly used for lumber. There is nowhere any considerable young growth from seed, although this mode of reproduction is not (as often stated) unknown; the tree will reproduce itself more than once from the stump (hence its name). In thirty years a tree has been known to grow to a height of 80 ft. and a diameter of 16 in. The wood contains no pitch and much water, and in a green condition will not burn. To this fact it owes its immunity from the forest fires which wreak frightful havoc among the surrounding forests. As the redwood is limited to the Coast Range, so the big tree is limited wholly to the Sierra Nevada. Unlike the redwood the big tree occurs in scattered groves (ten in all) among other species. Its habitat extends some 200 m., from latitude 36° to 39°, nowhere descending much below an altitude of 5000 ft., nor rising above 8000 ft. The most northerly grove and the nearest to San Francisco is the Calaveras Grove near Stockton; the Mariposa Grove just south of the Yosemite National Park, is a state reservation and easily accessible to tourists. The noblest groves are near Visalia, and are held as a national park. The average height is about 275 ft., and the diameter near the ground 20 ft.; various individuals stand over 300 ft., and a diameter of 25 ft. is not rare. One tree measures 35.7 ft. inside the bark 4 ft. above the ground, 10 ft. at 200 ft. above the ground, and is 325 ft. tall. Specimens have been cut down that were estimated to be 1300 and even 2200 years old; many trees standing are presumably 2500 years old. It is the opinion of John Muir that the big tree would normally live 5000 years or more; that the California groves are still in their prime; that, contrary to general ideas, the big tree was never more widely distributed than now, at least not within the past 8000 or 10,000 years; that it is not a decaying species, but that on the contrary “no tree of all the forest is more enduringly established in concord with climate and soil,” growing like the mountain pine even on granite, and in little danger save from the greed of the lumberman; but other excellent authorities consider it as hardly holding its own, especially in the north. Three main wood belts cover the flanks of the Sierra: the lower or main pine belt, the silver fir belt, and the upper pine belt. The sugar pine, the yellow or silver pine and the Douglas spruce (considerably smaller than in Oregon and Washington), are rivals in stature and nobility, all attaining 200 ft. or more when full grown; and the incense cedar reaches a height of 150 ft. In this belt and the following one of firs the big tree also grows. The white silver fir (abies concolor) and the silver or red fir (ab. magnifica), standing 200 to 250 ft., make up almost wholly the main forest belt from 5000 to 9000 ft. for some 450 m. Above the firs come the tamarack, constituting the bulk of the lower Alpine forest; the hardy long-lived mountain pine; the red cedar or juniper, growing even on the baldest rocks; the beautiful hemlock spruce; the still higher white pine, nut pine, needle pine; and finally, at 10,000 to 12,000 ft., the dwarf pine, which grows in a tangle on the earth over which one walks, and may not show for a century’s growth more than a foot of height or an inch of girth. The Nevada slope of the mountains below 7500 ft. is covered with the nut pine down to the sage plains. Its nuts are gathered in enormous amounts by the Indians for food; and it is estimated that the yearly harvest of these nuts exceeds in bulk that of all the cereals of California (John Muir). On the Sierra the underbrush is characterized by the pungent manzanita, the California buckeye and the chamiso; the last two growing equally abundantly on the Coast Range. The chamiso and the manzanita, with a variety of shrubby oaks and thorny plants, often grow together in a dense and sometimes quite impenetrable undergrowth, forming what is known as “chaparral”; if the chamiso occurs alone the thicket is a “chamisal.” The elm, the hickory, the beech, the chestnut, and many others of the most characteristic and useful trees of the eastern states were originally entirely wanting in California. Oaks are abundant; they are especially characteristic of the Great Valley, where they grow in magnificent groves. Up to 1910 national forest reserves amounted to 27,968,510 acres. In 1909 Congress created a national forest to include the big tree groves in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. One of the noblest redwood areas (that of Santa Cruz county) is a state reservation (created in 1901). Even within reservations almost all the merchantable timber is owned by private individuals. In addition to native trees many others—especially ornamental species—have been successfully introduced from various parts of the world.
Soil.—Sand and loams in great variety, grading from mere sand to adobe, make up the soils of the state. The plains of the north-east counties are volcanic, and those of the south-east sandy. It is impossible to say with accuracy what part of the state may properly be classed as tillable. The total farm acreage in 1900 was 28,828,951 acres, of which 41.5% were improved; since 1880 the absolute amount of improved land has remained practically constant, despite the extraordinary progress of the state in these years. Much land is too rough, too elevated or too arid ever to be made agriculturally available; but irrigation, and the work of the state and national agricultural bureaus in introducing new plants and promoting scientific farming, have accomplished much that once seemed impossible. The peculiarities of the climate, especially its division into two seasons, make Californian (and Southern Arizona) agriculture very different from that of the rest of the country. During the winter no shelter is necessary for live-stock, nor, during summer, for the grains that are harvested in June and July, and may lie for weeks or months in the field. The mild, wet winter is the season of planting and growth, and so throughout the year there is a succession of crops. The dangers of drought in the long dry seasons particularly increase the uncertainties of agriculture in regions naturally arid. Irrigation was introduced in Southern California before 1780, but its use was desultory and its spread slow till after 1850. In 1900 almost 1,500,000 acres were irrigated—an increase of 46% since 1890. About half of this total was in San Joaquin Valley. California has the greatest area of irrigated land of any state in the Union, and offers the most complete utilization of resources. In the south artesian wells, and in the Great Valley the rivers of the Sierra slope, are the main source of water-supply. On nearly all lands irrigated some crops will grow in ordinary seasons without irrigation, but it is this that makes possible selection of crops; practically indispensable for all field and orchard culture in the south, save for a few moist coastal areas, it everywhere increases the yield of all crops and is practised generally all over the state. Of the acreage devoted to alfalfa in 1899, 76.2% was irrigated; of that devoted to subtropical fruits, 71.7%. Small fruits, orchard fruits, hay, garden products and grains are decreasingly dependent on irrigation; wheat, which was once California’s great staple, is (for good, but not for best results) comparatively independent of it,—hence its early predominance in Californian agriculture, due to this success on arid lands since taken over for more remunerative irrigated crops.
Agriculture.—The spread of irrigation and of intensive cultivation, and the increase of small farms during the last quarter of the 19th century, have made California what it is to-day. Agriculture had its beginning in wheat-raising on great ranches, from 50,000 even to several hundred thousand acres in extent. A few of these, particularly in the Great Valley, are still worked, but only a few. The average size of farms in 1850 (when the large Mexican grants were almost the only farms, and these unbroken) was 4466 acres; in 1860 it was 466.4, and in 1900 only 397.4 acres. Stock ranches, tobacco plantations, and hay and grain farms, average from 800 to 530 acres, and counteract the tendency of dairy farms, beet plantations, orchards, vegetable gardens and nurseries to lower the size of the farm unit still further. The renting of large holdings prevails to a greater extent than in any other state except Texas. From 1880 to 1900 the number of farms above 500 and below 1000 acres doubled; half of the total in 1900 were smaller than 100 acres. The most remunerative and most characteristic farming to-day is diversified and intensive and on small holdings. The essential character of California’s economic life has been determined by the successive predominance of grass, gold, grain and fruits. Omitting the second it may be truly said that the order of agricultural development has been mainly one of blind experiment or fortuitous circumstances. Staple products have changed with increasing knowledge of climatic conditions, of life-zones and of the fitness of crops; first hides and tallow, then wool, wheat, grapes (which in the early eighteen-nineties were the leading fruit), deciduous orchard fruits, and semi-tropical citrus fruits successively. Prunes were introduced in 1854, but their possibilities were only slightly appreciated for some thirty years. Of various other crops much the same is true. Of late years progress has been very intelligent; in earlier years it was gained through a multitude of experiments and failures, and great pecuniary loss, and progress was a testimonial chiefly to courage and perseverance. The possibilities of the lower Sonoran and tropical areas are still imperfectly known. Nature has been niggard of rain but lavish in soil and sun. Irrigation has shown that with water, arid and barren plains, veritable deserts may be made to bloom with immense wealth of semi-tropical fruits; and irrigation in the tropical area along the Colorado river, which is so arid that it naturally bears only desert vegetation, has made it a true humid-tropical region like Southern Florida, growing true tropical fruits.
In 1900 California ranked eleventh among the states in total value of farm property ($796,527,955) and in 1899 fourteenth in the value of farm products ($131,690,606). The growth of the former from 1890 to 1900 was only 2.5%, one of the smallest increases among all the states.
The pastoral period extended from 1769 to 1848. The live-stock industry was introduced by the Franciscans and flourished exceedingly. In 1834, when the missions had already passed their best days, there were some 486,000 cattle, horses, mules and asses on the ranges, and 325,000 small animals, principally sheep. Throughout the pre-American period stock-raising was the leading industry; it built up the prosperity of the missions, largely supported the government and almost exclusively sustained foreign commerce. Hides and tallow were the sum and substance of Californian economy. Horses were slaughtered wholesale at times to make way for cattle on the ranges. There was almost no dairying; olive oil took the place of butter, and wine of milk, at the missions; and in general indeed the Mexicans were content with water. In the development of the state under the American regime the live-stock industry has been subordinate. A fearful drought in 1862–1864 greatly depressed it, and especially discouraged cattle ranching. Sheep then became of primary importance, until the increase of the flocks threatened ranges and forests with destruction. As late as 1876 there were some 7,000,000 sheep, in 1900 only 2,581,000, and in 1906 only 1,750,000. In the total value of all live stock (5,402,297 head) in 1900 ($65,000,000) the rank of the state was 15th in the Union, and in value of dairy products in 1899 (12.84 million dollars) 12th. The live-stock industry showed a tendency to decline after 1890, and the dairy industry also, despite various things—notably irrigation and alfalfa culture—that have favoured them.
Cereals replaced hides and tallow in importance after 1848. Wheat was long California’s greatest crop. Its production steadily increased till about 1884, the production in 1880, the banner year, being more than 54 million bushels (32,537,360 centals). Since 1884 its production has markedly fallen off; in 1905 the wheat crop was 17,542,013 bushels, and in 1906, 26,883,662 bushels (valued at $20,162,746). There has been a general parallelism between the amount of rain and the amount of wheat produced; but as yet irrigation is little used for this crop. In the eighth decade of the 19th century, the value of the wheat product had come to exceed that of the annual output of gold. Barley has always been very important. The acreage given to it in 1899 was one-fourth the total cereal acreage, and San Francisco in 1902–1904 was the shipping point of the larger part of American exported barley, of (roughly) three-quarters in 1902, seven-eighths in 1903 and four-fifths in 1904. In 1906 California produced 38,760,000 bushels of barley, valued at $20,930,400. The great increase in the acreage of barley, which was 22.5% of the country’s barley acreage in 1906, and 24.2% in 1905, is one reason for the decreased production of wheat. The level nature of the great grain farms of the valley led to the utilization of machinery of remarkable character. Combined harvesters (which enter a field of standing grain and leave this grain piled in sacks ready for shipment), steam gang-ploughs, and other farm machinery are of truly extraordinary size and efficiency. In 1899 cereals represented more than a third of the total crop acreage and crop product ($93,641,334) of the state. Wheat and other cereals are in part cut for hay, and the hay crop of 1906 was 1,133,465 tons, valued at $12,751,481. California is one of the leading hop-producing states of the Union, the average annual production since 1901 being more than 10,000,000 lb. The product of sugar beets increased between 1888 and 1902 from 1910 to 73,761 tons (according to the state board of trade), and in 1909 (according to the department of agriculture) it was 882,084 tons, from which 254,544,000 lb of sugar was manufactured. In this industry California in 1909 ranked second to Colorado. Truck gardening for export is an assured industry, especially in the north. Great quantities of vegetables, fresh and canned, are shipped yearly, and the same is true on a far larger scale of fruit. Vegetable exports more than doubled between 1894 and 1903. In 1899 hay and grain represented slightly more than a third of the farm acreage and capital and also of the value of all farm products; live-stock and dairy farms represented slightly more than half the acreage, and slightly under 30% of the capital and produce; fruit farms absorbed 6.2% of the acreage and 27% of the capital, and returned 22.5% of the value of farm produce.
Fruit-growing.—Horticulture is now the principal industry, and in this field California has no rival in the United States, although ranking after Florida in the growth of some tropical or semi-tropical fruits,—pineapples, guava, limes, pomeloes or grape-fruit and Japanese persimmons. In 1899 California’s output of fruit was more than a fifth of that of the whole Union. The supremacy of the state is established in the growth of oranges, lemons, citrons, olives, figs, almonds, Persian (or English) walnuts, plums and prunes, grapes and raisins, nectarines, apricots and pomegranates; it also leads in pears, and peaches, but here its primacy is not so assured. Southern California by no means monopolizes the warm-zone fruits. Oranges, lemons and walnuts come chiefly from that section, but citrus fruits grow splendidly in the Sierra foothills of the Sacramento Valley, and indeed ripen earlier there than in the southern district. Almonds, as well as peaches, pears, plums, cherries and apricots, come mainly from the north. Over half of the prune crop comes from Santa Clara county, and the bulk of the raisin output from Fresno county. Olives thrive as far north as the head of the Great Valley, growing in all the valleys and foothills up to 1500 or 2000 ft. They were introduced by the Franciscans (as were various other subtropical fruits, pears and grapes), but their scientific betterment and commercial importance date from about 1885. They grow very abundantly and of the finest quality; for many years poor methods of preparation prejudiced the market against the Californian product, but this has ceased to be the case. The modern orange industry practically began with the introduction into Southern California in 1873 of two seedless orange trees from Brazil; from their stock have been developed by budding millions of trees bearing a seedless fruit known as the “Washington navel,” which now holds first rank in American markets; other varieties, mainly seedlings, are of great but secondary importance. Shipments continue the year round. There has been more than one horticultural excitement in California, but especially in orange culture, which was for a time almost as epidemic a fever as gold seeking once was. By reason of the co-operative effort demanded for the large problems of irrigation, packing and marketing, the citrus industry has done much for the permanent development of the state, and its extraordinary growth made it, towards the close of the 19th century, the most striking and most potent single influence in the growth of agriculture. State legislation has advanced the fruit interest in all possible ways. Between 1872 and 1903 exports of canned fruits increased from 91 to 94,205 short tons; between 1880 and 1903 the increase of dried fruit exports was from 295 to 149,531 tons; of fresh deciduous fruits, from 2590 to 101,199; of raisins, from 400 to 39,963; of citrus fruits, from 458 to 299,623; of wines and brandies between 1891 and 1903, from 47,651 to 97,332 tons. Of the shipments in 1903 some 44% were from Southern California,—i.e. from the seven southernmost counties.
Grape culture has a great future in California. Vines were first introduced by the Franciscans in 1771 from Spain, and until after 1860 “Mission” grapes were practically the only stock in California. Afterwards many hundreds of European varieties were introduced with great success. “The state has such a variety of soil, slope, elevation, temperature and climatic conditions as to reproduce, somewhere within its borders, any wine now manufactured” (United States Census, 1900); but experience has not as yet divided the state into districts of specialized produce, nor determined just how far indigenous American vines may profitably be used, either as base or graftings, with European varieties. Grapes are grown very largely over the state. Raisins do well as far north as Yolo county, but do best in Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Diego counties. The product is more than sufficient for the markets of the United States. Dry wine grapes do best in the counties around San Francisco Bay, on unirrigated lands; while sweet wine stocks do best in Yolo, San Joaquin and the counties of the raisin grape, and on irrigated lands. In 1900 California produced about three-fifths in value ($3,937,871) and in 1905 the same proportion ($6,688,620) of the wine output of the United States. The value of product more than sextupled from 1880 to 1900. In quantity the product was more than four times the combined product of all other states. The better California wines are largely sold under French labels. Brandies are an important product. They are made chiefly from grapes, and are used to fortify wines. It was officially estimated that in the spring of 1904 there were some 227,000 acres of vineyards in the state, of which exactly five-tenths were in wine grapes and four-tenths in raisin grapes.
Gold.—Between the pastoral period and the era of wheat was the golden epoch of Californian history. The existence of gold had long been suspected, and possibly known, in California before 1848, and there had been desultory washings in parts where there was very little to reward prospectors. The first perfectly authenticated discovery was made near Los Angeles in 1842. The discovery of real historical importance was made in January 1848 (the 24th is the correct date) at John A. Sutter’s mill, on the south fork of the American river near Coloma, by a workman, James W. Marshall (1810–1885). His monument now marks the spot. From 1848 to the 1st of January 1903, according to the state mining bureau, California produced $1,379,275,408 in gold. There were two periods of intense excitement. The first ended in 1854, at which time there was a decided reaction throughout the United States in regard to mining matters. The Californian discoveries had given rise to a general search for metalliferous deposits in the Atlantic states, and this bad been followed by wild speculations. At the time of their greatest productiveness, from 1850 to 1853, the highest yield of the washings was probably not less than $65,000,000 a year; according to the state mining bureau the average production from 1851–1854 was $73,570,087 ($81,294,270 in 1852, the banner year), and from 1850–1861 $55,882,861, never falling below $50,000,000. The estimates of other competent authorities differ considerably, and generally are somewhat less generous than these figures.
At first the diggings were chiefly along the rivers. These were “flumed,”—that is, the water was diverted by wooden flumes from the natural channel and the sand and gravel in the bed were washed. All the “gulches” or ravines leading down into the canyons were also worked over, with or without water. These were the richest “placers,” but in them the gold was very unequally distributed. Those who first got possession of the rich bars on the American, Yuba, Feather, Stanislaus and the other smaller streams in the heart of the gold region, made sometimes from $1000 to $5000 a day; but after one rich spot was worked out it might be days or weeks before another was found. In 1848 $500-700 a day was not unusual luck; but, on the other hand, the income of the great majority of miners was certainly far less than that of men who seriously devoted themselves to trade or even to common labour. Many extraordinary nuggets were found, varying from $1000 to $20,000 in value. The economic stimulus given by such times may be imagined. For several years gold-dust was a regular circulating medium in the cities as well as in the mining districts of the state. An ounce of dust in 1848 frequently went for $4 instead of $17; for a number of years traders in dust were sure of a margin of several dollars, as for example in private coinage, mints for which were common by 1851. From the record of actual exports and a comparison of the most authoritative estimates of total production, it may be said that from 1848 to 1856 the yield was almost certainly not less than $450,000,000, and that about 1870 the billion dollar mark had been passed. Just at this time came the highest point and the sudden fall of the second great mining fever of the state. This was a stock speculation based on the remarkable output ($300,000,000 in 20 years) of the silver “bonanzas” of the Comstock lode at Virginia City, Nevada, which were opened and financed by San Francisco capitalists. The craze pervaded all classes. Shares that at first represented so many dollars per foot in a tangible mine were multiplied and remultiplied until they came to represent paper thicknesses or almost nothing, yet still their prices mounted upward. In April 1872 came the revulsion; there was a shrinkage of $60,000,000 in ten days; then in 1873 a tremendous advance, and in 1875 a final and disastrous collapse; in ten years thereafter the stock of the Comstock lode shrank from $3,000,000 to $2,000,000. This Comstock fever belongs to Californian rather than to Nevadan history, and is one of the most extraordinary in mining annals.
First the “rocker,” then the “tom,” the “flume,” and the hydraulic stream were the tools of the miner. Into the “rocker” and the “tom” the miner shovelled dirt, rocking it as he poured in water, catching the gold on riffles set across the bottom of his box; thus imitating in a wooden box the work of nature in the rivers. The “flume” enabled him to dry the bed of a stream while he worked over its gravels. The hydraulic stream came into use as early as 1852 (or 1853) when prospecting of the higher ground made it certain that the “deep” or “high” gravels—i.e. the detrital deposits of tertiary age—contained gold, though in too small quantities to be profitably worked in the ordinary way. The hydraulic process received an immense development through successive improvements of method and machinery. In this method tremendous blasts of powder, sometimes twenty-five or even fifty tons, were used to loosen the gravel, which was then acted on by the jet of water thrown from the “pipes.” To give an idea of the force of the agent thus employed it may be stated that when an eight-inch nozzle is used under a heavy head, more than 3000 ft. may be discharged in a minute with a velocity of 150 ft. per second. The water as it thus issues from the nozzle feels to the touch like metal, and the strongest man cannot sensibly affect it with a crowbar. A gravel bank acted on by such tremendous force crumbled rapidly, and the disintegrated material could be run readily through sluices to the “dumps.” Hydraulic mining is no longer practised on the scale of early days. The results were wonderful but disastrous, for the “dumps” were usually river-beds. From 1870–1879 the bed of Bear river was raised in places in its lower course 97 ft. by the detritus wash of the hydraulic mines, and that of Sleepy Hollow Creek 136 ft. The total filling up to that time on the streams in this vicinity had been from 100 to 250 ft., and many thousand acres of fine farming land were buried under gravel,—some 16,000 on the lower Yuba alone. For many years the mining interests were supreme, and agriculture, even after it had become of great importance, was invariably worsted when the two clashed; but in 1884 the long and bitter “anti-débris” or “anti-slickins” fight ended in favour of the farmers. In 1893 the United States government created a California Débris Commission, which has acted in unison with the state authorities. Permits for hydraulic mining are granted by the commission only when all gravel is satisfactorily impounded and no harm is done to the streams; and the improvement of these, which was impossible so long as limits were not set to hydraulic mining, can now be effectively advanced. Quartz mining began as early as 1851. In 1908 about five-eighths of the gold output was from such mines. Quartz veins are very often as good at a depth of 3000 ft. as at the surface. A remarkable feature of recent years (especially since 1900) is gold “dredging.” Thousands of acres even of orchard, vineyard and farming land have been thus treated in recent years. Gold was being produced in 1906 in more than thirty counties. The annual output since 1875 has been about $15,000,000 to $17,000,000; in 1905, according to the Mines Report, it was $18,898,545. Colorado now excels California as a gold producer.
Mineral Products.—California produces more than forty mineral substances that are of commercial significance. Gold, petroleum, copper, borax and its products, clays, quicksilver and silver lead, in order of importance, representing some four-fifths of the total. From 1894 to 1902 the aggregate production increased from 20.2 to 35.1 million dollars; in 1908 it was $65,137,636. Metallic products long represented three-fourths of the total, but the feature of recent years has been the rising importance of hydrocarbons and gases, and of structural materials, and indeed of non-metallic products generally. The production of crude petroleum has grown very rapidly since about 1895. Oil is found from north to south over some 600 m., but especially in Southern California. The high cost of coal, which has always been a hindrance to the development of manufactures, makes the petroleum deposits of peculiar value. Their total output increased from 4,250,000 to 44,854,737 barrels between 1900 and 1908, and the value of the product in 1908 was $23,433,502. The Kern river field is the most important in the state and one of the greatest in the world. Those of Coalinga, Santa Maria and Lompoc, and Los Angeles are next in importance. Both in 1900 and in 1905 California ranked fifth among the states of the United States in the petroleum refining industry. Copper has risen in importance in very recent years; it is mined mainly in Shasta county; the value of the state’s total product in 1908 was $5,232,986. Gold mining still centres in the mountainous counties north of Tuolumne. This is the region of quartz mining. In borax (of which California’s output in 1904 was 45,647 tons) and structural materials San Bernardino has a long lead. More than nine-tenths of the borax product of the country comes from about Death Valley. San Bernardino marbles have a very high repute. California was the fourth state of the Union in 1908 in the production of granite. It furnishes about two-fifths of the quicksilver of the world. This has been mined since 1824; the output was greatest from 1875–1883, when it averaged about 43,000,000 pounds. The New Almaden mine (opened in 1824) in Santa Clara county produced from 1850 to 1896 some 73,000,000 pounds. The centre of production is north and south of San Francisco Bay. Californian coal is almost wholly inferior brown lignite, together with a small quantity of bituminous coals of poor quality; the state does not produce a tenth part of the coal it consumes. Of growing importance are the gems found in California: a few diamonds in Butte county; rock crystal in Calaveras county; and tourmalines, kunzite, the rare pink beryl and bright blue topazes in San Diego county. Chrysoprase, mined near Porterville and near Visalia (Tulare county), is used partly for gems, but more largely (like the vesuvianite found near Exeter, in the same county) for mosaic work; and there are ledges of fine rose quartz in the Coahuila mountains of Riverside county and near Lemon Cove, Tulare county.
A vivid realization of the industrial revolution in the state is to be gained from the reflection that in 1875 California was pre-eminent only for gold and sheep; that the aggregate mineral output thirty years later was more than a third greater than then, and that nevertheless the value of farm produce at the opening of the 20th century exceeded by more than $100,000,000 the value of mineral produce, and exceeded by $50,000,000 the most generous estimate of the largest annual gold output in the annals of the state.
Manufactures.—Previous to 1860 almost every manufactured article used in the state was imported from the east or from Europe. Dairy products, for example, for whose production good facilities always existed, were long greatly neglected, and not for two decades at least after 1848 was the state independent in this respect. The high cost of coal, the speculative attractions of mining, and the high wages of labour, handicapped the development of manufactures in early years. The first continued to be a drag on such industries, until after 1895 the increasing use of crude petroleum obviated the difficulty. Several remarkable electric power and lighting plants utilize the water power of the mountains. Geographic isolation has somewhat fostered state industries. The value of gross manufactured products increased 41.9% from 1890 to 1900. In the latter year California ranked 12th among the states in the gross value of all manufactures ($302,874,761); the per-capita value of manufactured and agricultural products being $293,—$89 of the latter, $204 of the former. Of the wage-earners 61% were engaged in manufacturing. Fourteen industries represented from 41% to 45% of the employees, wages, capital and product of the aggregate manufacturers of the state. The leading ones in order of importance and the value of product in millions of dollars were: the manufacture of railway, foundry, and machine shop products (19.6 million dollars), lumber and timber industries (18.57), sugar and molasses refining (15.91), beef slaughtering (15.72), canning and preserving (13.08), flour and grist milling (13.10), the manufacture of malt, vinous and distilled liquors (9.26), leather industries (7.40), printing and publishing (6.86). In the second, third and fifth of these industries the state ranked respectively fifth, fourth and first in the Union. The canning and preserving of fruits and vegetables is in the main an industry of the northern and central counties. In 1890 the state board of forestry estimated that the redwood forests were in danger of exhaustion by 1930. The redwood is a general utility lumber second only to the common white pine, and the drain on the woods has been continuous since 1850. The wood has a fine, straight and even grain; and though light and soft, is firm and extremely durable, lying, it is authoritatively asserted, for centuries in the forest without appreciable decay. It takes a beautiful polish. The colour varies from cedar colour to mahogany. A small southern belt in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties is not being commercially exploited. The annual lumber cut from 1898–1903 averaged more than 663,348,000 ft.; of the 852,638,000 ft. cut in 1903, 465,460,000 were of redwood, and 264,890,000 of yellow pine; fir and sugar pines contributing another 104,600,000, and spruce and cedar 17,670,000 ft. In 1900 California ranked 16th among the states in value of product ($13,764,647, out of a total of $566,852,984). The total cut was under 1 of 1% of the estimated stand. In Humboldt county, in the redwood belt near Eureka, are probably the most modern and remarkable lumber mills of the world. In 1900 it was estimated that lumbermen controlled somewhat less than a fifth of the timber of the state, and the same part of the redwood. After 1890 important shipyards were established near San Francisco. The most important naval station of the United States on the Pacific coast is at Mare Island at the northern end of San Francisco Bay, and the private Union Iron Works, on the peninsula near San Francisco, is one of the largest shipyards of the country. In 1905 more than one-half of the factory product was the output of four cities: San Francisco ($137,788,233), Los Angeles ($34,814,475), Sacramento ($10,319,416) and Fresno ($9,849,001); next ranked Oakland, Stockton, and San José.
The transportation facilities in California increased rapidly after 1870. The building of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific lines are among the romances of American railway history. They joined tracks near Ogden, Utah, in May 1869. The New Orleans line of the Southern Pacific was opened in January 1883; the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé completed its line to San Diego in 1885, and to San Francisco Bay in 1900. The San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake, with trans-continental connexions at the eastern terminus, was chartered in 1901 and fully opened in March 1903. Railway mileage increased 137.3% from 1870 to 1880, and 154.6% from 1880 to 1900. At the close of 1908 the total mileage was 7039.36 m., practically all of which is either owned or controlled by the two great trans-continental systems of the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé. From 1869 to 1875 registered mail exchanges were opened with China, Japan, Hawaii and Australia. There are now frequent mail connexions from San Francisco with Hawaii, Australasia, and eastern Asia, as well as with American ports north and south. The commerce of San Francisco amounts to some $80,000,000 or $90,000,000 yearly, about equally divided between imports and exports, until after 1905—in 1907 the imports were valued at $54,207,011, and the exports at $30,378,355 (less than any year since 1896). San Diego has a very good harbour, and the harbours of San Pedro (Los Angeles) and Eureka are fairly good and of growing importance. Grains, lumber, fish, fruits and fruit products, petroleum, vegetables and sugar are the leading items in the commerce of San Francisco. Other ports are of very secondary importance. Navigation on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers was very important in early days, but is to-day of relatively slight importance in comparison with railway traffic.
Population.—The population of California increased in successive decades from 1850 to 1910 respectively by 310.3, 47.3, 54.3, 40.3, 22.4 and 60.1%. (The percentage of increase in 1900–1910 was exceeded in Washington, Oklahoma, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon.) In 1910 the total population was 2,377,549, or 15.2 per sq. m. In 1900 there were 116 incorporated towns and cities; and of the total population 43.3% was urban,—i.e. resident in cities (11 in number) of 8000 or more inhabitants. These 11 cities were: San Francisco (pop. 342,782), Los Angeles (102,479), Oakland (66,960), Alameda (16,464), Berkeley (13,214),—the last three being suburbs of San Francisco, and the last the seat of the state university,—Sacramento, the state capital (29,282), San José (21,500), San Diego (17,700), Stockton (17,506), Fresno (12,470), and Pasadena (9117). Eight other cities had populations of more than 5000—Riverside City (7973), Vallejo (7965), Eureka (7327), Santa Rosa (6673), Santa Barbara (6587), San Bernardino (6156), Santa Cruz (5659), and Pomona (5526).
Of the entire population in 1900 persons of foreign birth or parentage (one or both parents being foreign) constituted 54.2 and those of native birth were 75.3%. Of the latter six-tenths were born in California. The foreign element included 45,753 Chinese (a falling off of 25,313 since 1890), and 10,151 Japanese (an increase of 9004 in the same decade). Twenty-two foreign countries contributed over 1000 residents each, the leading ones being the United Kingdom (91,638), Germany (72,449), Canada (29,618; 27,408 being English Canadians), Italy (22,777), Sweden (14,549), France (12,256), Portugal (12,068), Switzerland (10,974), Japan, Denmark, and Mexico, in the order named. Persons of negro descent numbered 11,045. Almost all the Indians of the state are taxed as citizens. In 1906 of 611,464 members of religious denominations 354,408 were Roman Catholics, 64,528 Methodist Episcopalians, 37,682 Presbyterians, 26,390 Congregationalists, 24,801 Baptists, 21,317 Protestant Episcopalians, 11,371 Lutherans, and 9,110 members of Eastern Orthodox churches. A peculiar feature in the population statistics of California is the predominance of males, which in 1900 was 156,009; the Asiatic element accounts for a third of this number. Since 1885 the eight counties south of the Tehachapi Range, which are known collectively and specifically as Southern California have greatly advanced in population. In 1880 their population was 7.3, in 1890 17.2, and in 1900 20.1% of the total population of the state. The initial impulse to this increase was the beginning of the “fruit epoch” in these counties, combined with a railway “rate-war” following the completion to the coast in 1885 of the Santa Fe, and an extraordinary land boom prevailing from 1886 to 1888. The conjuncture of circumstances, and the immigration it induced, were unusual. The growth of the South, as of the rest of the state, has been continuous and steady.
The Indians were prominent in early Californian history, but their progress toward their present insignificance began far back in the Spanish period. It proceeded much more rapidly after the restraining influence of the missions was removed, leaving them free to revert to savagery; and the downward progress of the race was fearfully accelerated during the mining period, when they were abused, depraved, and in large numbers killed. There have been no Indian wars in California’s annals, but many butcheries. The natives have declined exceedingly in number since 1830, in 1900 numbering 15,377. They have always been mild-tempered, low, and unintelligent, and are to-day a poor and miserable race. They are all called “Digger Indians” indiscriminately, although divided by a multiplicity of tongues.
Government and Institutions.—In the matter of constitution-making California has been conservative, having had only two between 1849 and 1910. The first was framed by a convention at Monterey in 1849, and ratified by the people and proclaimed by the United States military governor in the same year. The present constitution, framed by a convention in 1878–1879, came into full effect in 1880, and was subsequently amended. It was the work of the labour party, passed at a time of high discontent, and goes at great length into the details of government, as was demanded by the state of public opinion. The qualifications required for the suffrage are in no way different from those common throughout the Union, except that by a constitutional amendment of 1894 it is necessary for a voter to be able to read the state constitution and write his name. As compared with the earlier constitution it showed many radical advances toward popular control, the power of the legislature being everywhere curtailed. The power of legislation was taken from it by specific inhibition in thirty-one subjects before within its power; its control of the public domain, its powers in taxation, and its use of the state credit were carefully safe-guarded. “Lobbying” was made a felony; provisions were inserted against lotteries and stock-exchange gambling, to tax and control common carriers and great corporations, and to regulate telegraph, telephone, storage and wharfage charges. The powers of the executive department were also somewhat curtailed. For the judiciary, provisions were made for expediting trials and decisions. Notable was the innovation that agreement by three-fourths of a jury should be sufficient in civil cases and that a jury might be waived in minor criminal cases, a provision which of course was based on experience under the Mexican law. All these changes in the organic law reflect bitter experience after 1850; and, read with the history of those years as a commentary, few American constitutions are more instructive. The constitution of 1879 corresponds very closely to the ordinary state constitution of to-day. The incorporation of banks issuing circulating notes is forbidden. Marriage is not only declared a civil contract, but the laws expressly recognize that the mere consent of the parties is adequate to constitute a binding marriage. The union of whites with persons of African descent is forbidden. Felons twice convicted may not be pardoned except on the recommendation of a majority of the judges of the supreme court. Judges and state executive officers are elected for terms longer than is usual in the different states (supreme judges 12 years, executive officers 4 years). These few provisions are mentioned, not as of particular importance in themselves, but as exceptions of some moment to the usual type of state Constitutions (see United States). The Australian ballot was introduced in 1891. In local government there are no deviations from the usual types that demand notice. In the matter of liquor-laws there is local option, and a considerable proportion of the towns and smaller cities, particularly in the south, adopt prohibition. In most of the rest high licence is more or less strictly enforced.
The total assessed valuation of property grew from $666,399,985 in 1880 to $1,217,648,683 in 1900 and $1,879,728,763 in 1907. In 1904, when the U.S. Census Report showed California to be the twenty-first state of the Union in population but the sixth in wealth, the total estimated true value of all property was $4,115,491,106, of which $2,664,472,025 was the value of real property and improvements thereon. The per capita wealth of the state was then reported as $2582.32, being exceeded only by the three sparsely settled states of Montana, Wyoming and Nevada. In 1898 California had the largest savings-bank deposit per depositor ($637.75) of any state in the Union; the per caput deposit was $110 in 1902, and about one person in seven was a depositor. The state bonded debt in 1907 amounted to three and a half million dollars, of which all but $767,529.03 was represented by bonds purchased by the state and held for the school and university funds; for the common school fund on the 1st of July 1907 there were held bonds for $4,890,950, and $800,000 in cash available for investment; for the university fund there were held $751,000 in state bonds, and a large amount in other securities. The total bonded county indebtedness was $4,879,600 in 1906 (not including that of San Francisco, a consolidated city and county, which was $4,568,600). A homestead, entered upon record and limited to a value of $5000 if held by the head of a family and to a value of $1000 if held by one not the head of a family, is exempt from liability for debts, except for a mortgage, a lien before it was claimed as a homestead or a lien afterward for improvements. A homestead held by a married man cannot be mortgaged without consent of his wife.
Under an act approved on the 25th of March 1903 a state board of charities and corrections,—consisting of six members, not more than three being of the same political party, appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, and holding office for twelve years, two retiring at the end of each quadrennium,—investigates, examines, and makes “reports upon the charitable, correctional and penal institutions of the state,” excepting the Veterans’ Home at Yountville, Napa county, and the Woman’s Relief Corps Home at Evergreen, Santa Clara county. There are state prisons with convicts working under the public account system, at San Quentin, Marin county, and Folsom, Sacramento county. The Preston (Sonoma county) School of Industry, for older boys, and the Whittier (Los Angeles county) State School, for girls and for boys under sixteen, are the state reformatories, each having good industrial and manual training departments. There are state hospitals for the insane at Agnew, Santa Clara county; at Stockton, San Joaquin county; at Napa, Napa county; at Patton, San Bernardino county; and, with a colony of tubercular patients, at Ukiah, Mendocino county. In 1906 the ratio of insane confined to institutions, to the total population, was 1 to every 270. Also under state control are the home for care and training of feeble-minded children, at Eldridge, Sonoma county; the institution for the deaf and the blind at Berkeley, and the home of mechanical trades for the adult blind at Oakland. A Juvenile Court Law was enacted in 1903 and modified in 1905.
The educational system of California is one of the best in the country. The state board of education is composed of the governor of the state, who is its president; the superintendent of public instruction, who is its secretary; the presidents of the five normal schools and of the University of California, and the professor of pedagogy in the university. Sessions are long in primary schools, and attendance was made compulsory in 1874 (and must not be less than two-thirds of all school days). The state controlled the actual preparation and sale of text-books for the common schools from 1885 to 1903, when the Perry amendment to the constitution (ratified by popular vote in 1884) was declared to mean that such text-books must be manufactured within the state, but that the texts need not be prepared in California. The experiment of state-prepared text-books was expensive, and its effect was bad on the public school system, as such text-books were almost without exception poorly written and poorly printed. After 1903 copyrights were leased by the state. Secondary schools are closely affiliated with, and closely inspected by, the state university. All schools are generously supported, salaries are unusually good, and pension funds in all cities are authorized by state laws. The value of school property in 1900 was $19,135,722, and the expenditure for the public schools $6,195,000; in 1906 the value of school property was $29,013,150, and the expenditure for public schools $10,815,857. The average school attendance for all minors of school age (5-20 years) was 59.9%; of those native-born 61.5, of those foreign-born 34.6; of coloured children, including Asiatics and Indians, 35.8, and of white, 60.8%. In 1900, 6.2% of the males of voting age, and 2.4% of the native-born males of voting age, were illiterate (could not write). Some 3% of the total population could not speak English; Chinese and Japanese constituting almost half of the number, foreign-born whites somewhat less, and Indians and native-born whites of foreign parentage together less than a tenth of the total. Of the higher educational institutions of the state the most important are the state university at Berkeley and Leland Stanford Jr. University at Palo Alto. The former is supported with very great liberality by the state; and the latter, the endowment of which is private (the state, however, exempting it from taxation), is one of the richest educational institutions of America. In 1906 there were also five state normal schools (at Chico, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San José), and a considerable number of denominational colleges. There is also a state polytechnic school at San Luis Obispo (1903).
History.—The name “California” was taken from Ordoñez de Montalvo’s romance of chivalry Las Sergas de Esplandian (Madrid, 1510), in which is told of black Amazons ruling an island of this name “to the right of the Indies, very near the quarter of the terrestrial paradise.” The name was given to the unknown north-west before 1540. It does not show that the namers were prophets or wise judges, for the Spaniards really knew California not at all for more than two centuries, and then only as a genial but rather barren land; but it shows that the conquistadores mixed poetry with business and illustrates the glamour thrown about the “Northern Mystery.” Necessarily the name had for a long time no definite geographical meaning. The lower Colorado river was discovered in 1540, but the explorers did not penetrate California; in 1542–1543 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored at least the southern coast; in 1579 Sir Francis Drake repaired his ships in some Californian port (almost certainly not San Francisco Bay), and named the land New Albion; two Philippine ships visited the coast in 1584 and 1595, and in 1602 and 1603 Sebastian Vizcaino discovered the sites of San Diego and Monterey. There was apparently no increase of knowledge thereafter for 150 years. Most of this time California was generally supposed to be an island or a group of islands. Jesuit missionaries entered Lower California as early as 1697, maintaining themselves there until Charles III.’s expulsion in 1767 of all Jesuits from his dominions; but not until Russian explorations in Alaska from 1745–1765 did the Spanish government show interest in Upper California. Because of these explorations, and also the long-felt need of a refitting point on the California coast for the galleons from Manila, San Diego was occupied in 1769 and Monterey in 1770 as a result of urgent orders from Charles III. San Francisco Bay was discovered in the former year. Meanwhile the Jesuit property in the Peninsula had been turned over to Franciscan monks, but in 1772 the Dominicans took over the missions, and the Franciscans not unwillingly withdrew to Upper California, where they were to thrive remarkably for some fifty years.
This is the mission period—or from an economic standpoint, the pastoral period—of Californian history. In all, twenty-one
missions were established between 1769 and 1823. The
leader in this movement was a really remarkable man,
Miguel José Serra (known as Junipero Serra, 1713–1784),
of the missions. a friar of very great ability, purest piety, and tireless zeal. He possessed great influence in Mexico and Madrid. “The theory of the mission system,” says H. H. Bancroft, “was to make the savages work out their own salvation and that of the priests also.” The last phrase scarcely does justice to the truly humane and devout intentions of the missionaries; but in truth the mission system was a complete failure save in the accumulation of material wealth. Economically the missions were the blood and life of the province. At them the neophytes worked up wool, tanned hides, prepared tallow, cultivated hemp and wheat, raised a few oranges, made soap, some iron and leather articles, mission furniture, and a very little wine and olive oil. Such as it was, this was about the only manufacturing or handicraft in California. Besides, the hides and tallow yielded by the great herds of cattle at the missions were the support of foreign trade and did much toward paying the expenses of the government. The Franciscans had no sympathy for profane knowledge, even among the Mexicans,—sometimes publicly burning quantities of books of a scientific or miscellaneous nature; and the reading of Fénelon’s Télémaque brought excommunication on a layman. As for the intellectual development of the neophytes the mission system accomplished nothing; save the care of their souls they received no instruction, they were virtually slaves, and were trained into a fatal dependence, so that once coercion was removed they relapsed at once into barbarism. It cannot be said, however, that Anglo-Americans have done much better for them.
The political upheavals in Spain and Mexico following 1808 made little stir in this far-off province. Joseph was never recognized, and allegiance was sworn to Ferdinand (1809). When revolution broke out in Mexico (1811), California remained loyal, suffering much by the cessation of supplies from Mexico, the resulting deficits falling as an added burden upon the missions. The occupation of Monterey for a few hours by a Buenos Aires privateer (1818) was the only incident of actual war that California saw in all these years; and it, in truth, was a ridiculous episode, fit introduction to the bloodless play-wars, soon to be inaugurated in Californian politics. In 1820 the Spanish constitution was duly sworn to in California, and in 1822 allegiance was given to Mexico. Under the Mexican Federal constitution of 1824 Upper California, first alone (it was made a distinct province in 1804) and then with Lower California, received representation in the Mexican congress.
The following years before American occupation may be divided into two periods of quite distinct interest. From about 1840 to 1848 foreign relations are the centre of interest. From 1824 to 1840 there is a complicated and not uninteresting movement of local politics and a preparation for the future,—the missions fall, republicanism grows, the sentiment of local patriotism becomes a political force, there is a succession of sectional controversies and personal struggles among provincial chiefs, an increase of foreign commerce, of foreign immigration and of foreign influence.
The Franciscans were mostly Spaniards in blood and in sympathies. They viewed with displeasure and foreboding the fall of Iturbide’s empire and the creation of the republic. They were not treasonable, but talked much, refusing allegiance to the new government; and as they controlled the resources of the colony and the good will of the Indians, they felt their strength against the local authority; besides, they were its constant benefactors. But secularization was in harmony with the growth of republican ideas. There was talk in California of the rights of man and neophytes, and of the sins of friars. The missions were never intended to be permanent. The missionaries were only the field workers sent out to convert and civilize the Indians, who were to be turned over then to the regular clergy, the monks pushing further onward into new fields. This was the well-established policy of Spain. In 1813 the Spanish Cortes ordered the secularization of all missions in America that were ten years old, but this decree was not published in California until 1821. After that secularization was the burning question in Californian politics. In 1826 a beginning toward it was made in partially emancipating the neophytes, but active and thorough secularization of the missions did not begin until 1834; by 1835 it was consummated at sixteen missions out of twenty-one, and by 1840 at all. At some of the missions the monks acted later as temporary curates for the civil authorities, until in 1845–1846 all the missions were sold by the government. Unfortunately the manner of carrying it out discredited a policy neither unjust nor bad in itself, increasing its importance in the political struggles of the time. The friars were in no way mistreated: Californians did not share Mexican resentments against Spaniards, and the national laws directed against these were in the main quietly ignored in the province. In 1831 the mission question led to a rising against the reactionary clerical rule of Governor Manuel Victoria. He was driven out of the province.
This was the first of the opéra bouffe wars. The causes underlying them were serious enough. In the first place, there was a growing dissatisfaction with Mexican rule, which accomplished nothing tangible for good in California,—although its plans were as excellent as could be asked had there only been peace and means to realize them; however, it made the mistake of sending convicts as soldiers. Californians were enthusiastic republicans, but found the benefits of republicanism slow in coming. The resentment of the Franciscans, the presence of these and other reactionaries and of Spaniards, the attitude of foreign residents, and the ambitions of leading Californian families united to foment and propagate discontent. The feeling against Mexicans—those “de la otra banda” as they were significantly termed—invaded political and even social life. In the second place, there was growing jealousy between northern towns and southern towns, northern families and southern families. These entered into disputes over the location of the capital and the custom-house, in the Franciscan question also (because the friars came some from a northern and some from a southern college), and in the question of the distribution of commands in the army and offices in the civil government. Then there was the mission question; this became acuter about 1833 when the friars began to destroy, or sell and realize on, the mission property. The next decade was one of plunder and ruin in mission history. Finally there was a real growth of republicanism, and some rulers—notably Victoria—were wholly out of sympathy with anything but personal, military rule. From all these causes sprang much unrest and considerable agitation.
In 1828–1829 there was a revolution of unpaid soldiers aided by natives, against alleged but not serious abuses, that really aimed at the establishment of an independent native government. In 1831 Governor Victoria was deposed; in 1836 Governor Mariano Chico was frightened out of the province; in 1836 Governor Nicolas Gutierrez and in 1844–1845 Governor Manuel Micheltorena were driven out of office. The leading natives headed this last rising. There was talk of independence, but sectional and personal jealousies could not be overcome. In all these wars there was not enough blood shed to discolour a sword. The rising of 1836 against Gutierrez seems to-day most interesting, for it was in part a protest against the growth of federalism in Mexico. California was even deferred to as (declared to be seems much too strong a statement) an Estado Libre y Soberano; and from 1836 to 1838, when the revolutionary governor, Juan B. Alvarado, was recognized by the Mexican government, which had again inclined to federalism and, besides, did not take the matter very seriously, the local government rested simply on local sentiment. The satisfaction of this ended all difficulties.
By this time foreign influence was showing itself of importance. Foreign commerce, which of course was contraband, being contrary to all Spanish laws, was active by the beginning of the 19th century. It was greatly stimulated during the Spanish-American revolutions (the Lima American immigration. and Panama trade dating from about 1813), for, as the Californian authorities practically ignored the law, smuggling was unnecessary; this was, indeed, much greater after 1822 under the high duties (in 1836–1840 generally about 100%) of the Mexican tariffs. In the early ’forties some three-fourths of the imports, even at Monterey itself, are said to have paid no duties, being landed by agreement with the officials. Wholesale and retail trade flourished all along the coast in defiance of prohibitory laws. American trade was by far most important. The Boston traders—whose direct trade began in 1822, but the indirect ventures long before that—were men of decided influence in California. The trade supplied almost all the clothing, merchandise and manufactures used in the province; hides and furs were given in exchange. If foreign trade was not to be received, still less were foreign travellers, under the Spanish laws. However, the Russians came in 1805, and in 1812 founded on Bodega Bay a post they held till 1841, whence they traded and hunted (even in San Francisco Bay) for furs. From the day of the earliest foreign commerce sailors and traders of divers nationalities began to settle in the province. In 1826 American hunters first crossed to the coast; in 1830 the Hudson’s Bay Company began operations in northern California. By this time the foreign element was considerable in number, and it doubled in the next six years, although the true overland immigration from the United States began only about 1840. As a class foreigners were respected, and they were influential beyond proportion to their numbers. They controlled commerce, and were more energetic, generally, than were the natives; many were naturalized, held generous grants of land, and had married into Californian families, not excluding the most select and influential. Most prominent of Americans in the interior was John A. Sutter (1803–1880), who held a grant of eleven square leagues around the present site of Sacramento, whereon he built a fort. His position as a Mexican official, and the location of his fortified post on the border, commanding the interior country and lying on the route of the overland immigrants, made him of great importance in the years preceding and immediately following American occupation; although he was a man of slight abilities and wasted his great opportunities. Other settlers in the coast towns were also of high standing and importance. In short, Americans were hospitably received and very well treated by the government and the people; despite some formalities and ostensible surveillance there was no oppression whatever. There was, however, some jealousy of the ease with which Americans secured land grants, and an entirely just dislike of “bad” Americans. The sources from which all the immigrants were recruited made inevitable an element of lawlessness and truculence. The Americans happened to predominate. Along with a full share of border individuality and restlessness they had the usual boisterous boastfulness and a racial contempt, which was arrogantly proclaimed, for Mexicans,—often too for Mexican legal formalities. The early comers were a conservative American and European intriques. force in politics, but many of the later comers wanted to make California a second Texas. As early as 1805 (at the time of James Monroe’s negotiations for Florida), there are traces of Spain’s fear of American ambitions even in this far-away province. It was a fear she felt for all her American possessions. Spain’s fears passed on to Mexico, the Russians being feared only less than Americans. An offer was made by President Jackson in 1835 to buy the northern part of California, including San Francisco Bay, but was refused. In 1836 and 1844 Americans were prominent in the incidents of revolution; divided in opinion in both years they were neutral in the actual “hostilities” of the latter, but some gave active support to the governor in 1836. From 1836 on, foreign interference was much talked about. Americans supposed that Great Britain wished to exchange Mexican bonds for California; France also was thought to be watching for an opening for gratifying supposed ambitions; and all parties saw that even without overt act by the United States the progress of American settlement seemed likely to gain them the province, whose connexion with Mexico had long been a notoriously loose one. A considerable literature written by travellers of all the countries named had before this discussed all interests. In 1840 for too active interest in politics some Americans and Englishmen were temporarily expelled.
In 1842 Commodore T. A. C. Jones (1789–1858) of the United States navy, believing that war had broken out between his country and Mexico and that a British force was about to seize California, raised the American flag over Monterey (October 21st), but finding that he had acted on misinformation he lowered the flag next day with due ceremony and warm apology. In California this incident served only to open up agreeable personal relations and social courtesies, but it did not tend to clarify the diplomatic atmosphere. It showed the ease of seizing the country, the indifference of the natives, and the resolution of the United States government. Mexico sought to prevent American immigration, but the local authorities would not enforce such orders, however positive. Between 1843 and 1845, Great Britain, the United States, and France opened consulates. By 1845 there was certainly an agreement in opinion among all American residents (then not 700 in number) as regards the future of the country. The policy of France and Great Britain in these years is unknown. That of the United States is fully known. In 1845 the American consul at Monterey, Thomas O. Larkin (1802–1858), was instructed to work for the secession of California from Mexico, without overt aid from the United States, but with their good-will and sympathy. He very soon gained from leading officers assurances of such a movement before 1848. At the same time American naval officers were instructed to occupy the ports in case of war with Mexico, but first and last to work for the good-will of the natives. In 1845 Captain J. C. Frémont,—whose doings in California in the next two years were among the main assets in a life-long reputation and an unsuccessful presidential campaign,—while engaged in a government surveying expedition, aroused the apprehensions of the Californian authorities by suspicious and very possibly intentionally provocative movements, and there was a show of military force by both parties. Frémont had information beyond that of ordinary men that made him believe early hostilities between the United States and Mexico to be inevitable; he was also officially informed of Larkin’s secret task and in no way authorized to hamper it. Resentment, however, incited him to personal revenge on the Californian government, and an ambition that clearly saw the gravity of the crisis prompted him to improve it The “Bear Flag.” unscrupulously for his own advancement, leaving his government to support or disavow him according as war should come or not. In violation therefore of international amities, and practically in disobedience of orders, he broke the peace, caused a band of Mexican cavalry mounts to be seized, and prompted some American settlers to occupy Sonoma (14th June 1846). This episode is known as the “Bear Flag War,” inasmuch as there was short-lived talk of making California an independent state, and a flag with a bear as an emblem (California is still popularly known as the Bear Flag State) flew for a few days at Sonoma. It was a very small, very disingenuous, inevitably an anomalous, and in the vanity of proclamations and other concomitant incidents rather a ridiculous affair; and fortunately for the dignity of history—and for Frémont—it was quickly merged in a larger question, when Commodore John Drake Sloat (1780–1867) on the 7th of July raised the flag of the United States over Monterey, proclaiming California a part of the United States. The opening hostilities of the Mexican War had occurred on the Rio Grande. The excuses and explanations later given by Frémont—military preparations by the Californian authorities, the imminence of their attack, ripening British schemes for the seizure of the province, etc.—made up the stock account of historians until the whole truth came out in 1886 (in Royce’s California). Californians had been very friendly to Americans, but Larkin’s intimates thought they had been tricked, and the people resented the stealthy and unprovoked breaking of peace, and unfortunately the Americans did not known how to treat them except inconsiderately and somewhat contemptuously. The result was a feeble rising in the south. The country was fully pacified by January 1847. The aftermath of Frémont’s filibustering acts, followed as they were by wholly needless hostilities and by some injustice then and later in the attitude of Americans toward the natives, was a growing misunderstanding and estrangement, regrettable in Californian history. Thus there was an end to the “lotos-land society” of California. Another society, less hospitable, less happy, less contented, but also less mild, better tempered for building states, and more “progressive,” took the place of the old.
By the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 Mexico ceded
California to the United States. It was just at this time that
gold was discovered, and the new territory took on
great national importance. The discussion as to what
should be done with it began in Congress in 1846,
California ceded to
the United States. immediately involving the question of slavery. A furious conflict developed, so that nothing was accomplished in two successive sessions; even at the end of a third, in March 1849, the only progress made toward creating a government for the territory was that the national revenue laws had been extended over it and San Francisco had been made a port of entry. Meanwhile conditions grew intolerable for the inhabitants. Before the end of the war Mexican laws not incompatible with United States laws were by international law supposed to be in force; but nobody knew what they were, and the uncertainties of vague and variable alcalde jurisdictions were increased when Americans began to be alcaldes and grafted English common-law principles, like the jury, on Californian practice. Never was a population more in need of clear laws than the motley Californian people of 1848–1849, yet they had none when, with peace, military rule and Mexican law technically ended. There was a curious extra-legal fusion of laws, a half-breed legal system, and no definite basis for either law or government. Even the acts and theories of the officials were very inconsistent. Early in 1849 temporary local governments were set up in various towns, and in September a convention framed a free-state constitution and applied for admission to the Union. On the 7th of September 1850 a bill finally passed Congress admitting California as a free state. This was one of the bargains in the “Compromise Measures of 1850” that were intended to dispose of the question of slavery in the Territories. Meanwhile the gold discoveries culminated and surpassed “three centuries of wild talk about gold in California.” For three months there was little excitement, then a wild rush. Settlements were completely deserted; homes, farms and stores abandoned. Ships deserted by their sailors crowded the bay at San Francisco—there were 500 of them in July 1850; soldiers deserted wholesale, churches were emptied, town councils ceased to sit, merchants, clerks, lawyers and judges and criminals, everybody, flocked to the foothills. Soon, from Hawaii, Oregon and Sonora, from the Eastern states, the South Seas, Australia, South America The rush
for gold. and China came an extraordinary flow of the hopeful and adventurous. In the winter of ’48 the rush began from the states to Panama, and in the spring across the plains. It is estimated that 80,000 men reached the coast in 1849, about half of them coming overland; three-fourths were Americans. Rapid settlement, excessive prices, reckless waste of money, and wild commercial ventures that glutted San Francisco with all objects usable and unusable made the following years astounding from an economic point of view; but not less bizarre was the social development, nor less extraordinary the problems of state-building in a society “morally and socially tried as no other American community ever has been tried” (Royce). There was of course no home life in early California. In 1850 women numbered 8% of the population, but only 2% in the mining counties. The miners were an energetic, covetous, wandering, abnormally excitable body of men. Occasionally a kind of frenzy even would seem to seize on them, and lured by the hope of new deposits of unheard-of richness thousands would flock on unfounded rumours to new and perhaps distant localities, where many might perish from disease and starvation, the rest returning in poverty and rags. Such were the Kern River fever of 1855 and the greater “Fraser River rush” of 1858, the latter, which took perhaps 20,000 men out of the state, causing a terrible amount of suffering. Many interior towns lost half their population and some virtually all their population as a result of this emigration; and it precipitated a real estate crash in San Francisco that threatened temporary ruin. Mining times in California brought out some of the most ignoble and some of the best traits of American character. Professor Josiah Royce has pictured the social-moral process by which society finally impressed its “claims on wayward and blind individuals” who “sought wealth and not a social order,” and so long as possible shirked all social obligations. Through varied instruments—lynch law, popular courts, vigilance committees—order was, however, enforced, better as times went on, until there was a stable condition of things. In the economic life and social character of California to-day the legacies of 1848 are plain.
The slavery question was not settled for California in 1850. Until the Civil War the division between the Whig and Democratic parties, whose organization in California preceded statehood, was essentially based on slavery. The struggle fused with the personal contests of two men, rivals for the United States Senate, William McKendree Gwin (1805–85, U.S. senator, 1850–55 and 1857–61), the leader of the pro-slavery party, and David Colbreth Broderick (1819–1859), formerly a leader of Tammany in New York, and after 1857 a member from California of the United States Senate, the champion of free labour, who declared in 1860 for the policy of the Republican party. Broderick’s undoing was resolved upon by the slavery party, and he was killed in a duel. The Gwin party hoped to divide California into two states and hand the southern over to slavery; on the eve of the Civil War it considered the scheme of a Pacific coast republic. The decade 1850–1860 was also marked by the activity of filibusters against Sonora and Central America. Two of these—a French adventurer, one Gaston Raoux, comte de Raousset-Boulbon (1817–1854), and William Walker, had very picturesque careers. The state was thoroughly loyal when war came. The later ’fifties are characterized by H. H. Bancroft as a period of “moral, political and financial night.” National politics were put first, to the complete ignoring of excessive taxation, financial extravagance, ignorant legislation and corruption in California. The public was exploited for many years with impunity for the benefit of private interests. One Disputed land grants. legacy that ought to be briefly noted here is that of disputed land grants. Under the Mexican régime such grants were generous and common, and the complicated formalities theoretically essential to their validity were very often, if not usually, only in part attended to. Titles thus gained would never have been questioned under continued Mexican government, but Americans were unaccustomed to such riches in land and to such laxity. From the very first hundreds “squatted” on large claims, contesting the title. Instead of confirming all claims existing when the country passed to the United States, and so ensuring an immediate settlement of the matter, which was really the most important thing for the peace and purse of the community, the United States government undertook through a land commission and courts to sift the valid from the fraudulent. Claims of enormous aggregate value were thus considered and a large part of those dating from the last years of Mexican dominion (many probably artfully concocted and fraudulently antedated after the commission was at work) were finally rejected. This litigation filled the state and federal courts for many years. The high value of realty in San Francisco naturally offered extraordinary inducements to fraud, and the largest part of the city was for years involved in fraudulent claims, and its peace broken by “squatter”-troubles. Twenty or thirty years of the state’s life were disturbed by these controversies. Land monopoly is an evil of large proportions in California to-day, but it is due to the laxness of the United States government in enabling speculators to accumulate holdings and not to the original extent of Mexican grants.
In state gubernatorial elections after the Civil War the Democrats won in 1867, 1875, 1882, 1886, 1894; the Republicans in 1871, 1879, 1890, 1898, 1902, 1906, 1910. Features of political life and of legislation after 1876 were a strong labour agitation, the struggle for the exclusion of the Chinese, for the control of hydraulic mining, irrigation, and the advancement by state-aid of the fruit interests; the last three of which have already been referred to above. Labour conditions were peculiar in the decade following 1870. Mining, war times and the building of the Central Pacific had up to then inflated prices and prosperity. Then there came a slump; probably the truth was rather that money was becoming less unnaturally abundant than that there was any over-supply of labour. The turning off of some 15,000 Chinese (principally in 1869–1870) from the Central Pacific lines who flocked to San Francisco, augmented the discontent of incompetents, of disappointed late immigrants, and the reaction from flush times. Labour unions became strong and demonstrative. In 1877–1878 Denis Kearney (1847–1907), an Irish drayman and demagogue of considerable force and daring, headed the discontented. This is called the “sand-lots agitation” from the favourite meeting-place (in San Francisco) of the agitators.
The outcome of these years was the Constitution of 1879, already described, and the exclusion of Chinese by national law. In 1879 California voted against further immigration of Chinese by 154,638 to 883. Congress re-enacted exclusion legislation in 1902. All authorities agree that the Chinese in early years were often abused in the mining country and their rights most unjustly neglected by the law and its officers. Men among the most respected in California (Joaquin Miller, H. H. Bancroft and others) have said most in praise and defence of the Chinaman. From railroad making to cooking he has proved his abilities and trustworthiness. He is found to-day in the mines and fisheries, in various lines of manufacture, in small farming, and in all branches of domestic service. The question of the economic development of the state, and of trade to the Orient, the views of the mercenary labour-contractor and of the philanthropist, the factor of “upper-race” repugnance, the “economic-leech” argument, the “rat-rice-filth-and-opium” argument, have all entered into the problem. Certain it is that though the unprejudiced must admit that exclusion has not been at all an unmixed blessing, yet the consensus of opinion is that a large population, non-citizen and non-assimilable, sending—it is said—most of their earnings to China, living in the main meanly at best, and practically without wives, children or homes, is socially and economically a menace outweighing the undoubted convenience of cheaper (and frequently more trustworthy) menial labour than the other population affords. The exclusion had much to do with making the huge single crop ranches unprofitable and in leading to their replacement by small farms and varied crops. Many of the Chinese now in the state are wealthy. Race feeling against them has become much less marked.
One outcome of early mission history, the “Pious Fund of the Californias,” claimed in 1902 the attention of the Hague Tribunal. (See Arbitration, International, Hague cases section.) In 1906–1907 there was throughout the state a remarkable anti-Japanese agitation, centring in San Francisco (q.v.) and affecting international relations and national politics.
|Governors of California (State)|
|Gasper de Portolá||served||1767–1770|
|Filipe de Barri||served||1771–1774|
|Felipe de Neve||served||1774–1782|
|Jose Antonio Romeu||served||1791–1792|
|*||José Joaquin de Arillaga||served||1792–1794|
|Diego de Borica||served||1794–1800|
|*||José Joaquin de Arillaga||served||1800–1804|
|José Joaquin de Arillaga||served||1804–1814|
|*||José Diario Arguello||served||1814–1815|
|Pablo Vicente de Sola||served||1815–1822|
|Pablo Vicente de Sola||served||1822|
|*||Luis Antonio Arguello||served||1822–1825|
|José Maria Echeandía||served||1825–1831|
|José Maria Echeandía||served||1831–1832|
|Juan Bautista Alvarado||served||1836–1842|
|Carlos Antonio Carrillo||served||1837–1838|
|John D. Sloat||appointed||1846|
|Richard F. Stockton||appointed||1846–1847|
|Stephen W. Kearny||appointed||1847|
|Peter H. Burnett||1849–1851||Democrat|
|*||John H. McDougall||1851–1852||”|
|John M. Johnson||1856–1858||Know Nothing|
|John B. Weller||1858–1860||Lecompton Democrat|
|Milton S. Latham||1869||(6 days)||”|
|*||John G. Downey||1860–1862||”|
|Frederick F. Low||1863–1867||”|
|Henry H. Haight||1867–1871||Democrat|
|George G. Perkins||1880–1883||Republican|
|George C. Stoneman||1883–1887||Democrat|
|*||Robert W. Waterman||1887–1891||Republican|
|Henry H. Markham||1891–1895||”|
|James H. Budd||1895–1899||Democrat|
|Henry T. Gage||1899–1903||Republican|
|George C. Pardee||1903–1907||”|
|James N. Gillett||1907–1911||”|
|Hiram W. Johnson||1911–||”|
The mark * before the name of one of the Spanish governors indicates that he acted only ad interim, and, in the case of governors since 1849, that the officer named was elected as lieutenant-governor and succeeded to the office of governor.
Bibliography.—For list of works on California, see University of California Library Bulletin, No. 9, 1887, “List of Printed Maps of California”; catalogue of state official publications by State Library (Sacramento, 1894). The following may be cited here on different aspects:—
Topography.—J. Muir, Mountains of California (New York, 1894); H. Gannett, “Dictionary of Elevations” (1898), and “River Profiles,” publications of United States Geological Survey; G. W. James, The Wonders of the Colorado Desert (2 vols., Boston, 1906).
Climate, &c.—U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Climate and Crop Service, monthly reports; E. S. Holden, Recorded, Earthquakes in California, Lower California, Oregon, and Washington Territory (California State University, 1887); United States Department Agriculture, Weather Bureau, Bulletins, Alexander G. McAdie, “Climatology of California” (Washington, 1903). There is a great mass of general descriptive literature, especially on Southern California, such as Charles Dudley Warner, Our Italy (New York, 1891); Kate Sanborn, A Truthful Woman in Southern California (New York, 1893); W. Lindley and J. P. Widney, California of the South (New York, 1896); J. W. Hanson, American Italy (Chicago, 1896); T. S. Van Dyke, Southern California (New York, 1886), &c.
Fauna, Flora.—Muir, op. cit.; United States Geological Survey, 19th Annual Report, pt. v., H. Gannett, “Forests of the United States”; idem, 20th Annual Report, pt. v., “United States Forest Reserves”; United States Division of Forestry, Bulletin No. 28, “A Short Account of the Big Trees of California” (1900), No. 38, “The Redwood” (a volume, 1903), also Professional Papers, e.g. No. 8, J. B. Leiberg, “Forest Conditions in the Northern Sierra Nevada” (1902); California Board of Forestry, Reports (1885– ); United States Censuses, reports on forests; United States Biological Survey, North American Fauna, No. 16, 1899, C. H. Merriam, “Biological Survey of Mt. Shasta”; United States Department Agriculture, Contributions from United States National Herbarium, iv., 1893, F. V. Coville, “Botany of Death Valley Expedition”; State Board of Fish Commissioners, Reports, from 1877; United States Fish Commissioners, Annual Reports, from 1871, and Bulletins from 1882; J. le Conte, “Flora of the Coast Islands” (1887), being Bulletin No. 8 of California Academy of Sciences; consult also its Proceedings, Memoirs, and Occasional Papers; G. J. Peirce, Studies on the Coast Redwood (publication of Leland Stanford jr. University, 1901).
Agriculture.—California Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletins from 1884; Reports of the State Dairy Bureau, from 1898; State Board of Horticulture, Reports, 1889–1894; United States Censuses, 1890 and 1900, reports on irrigation.
Industries.—J. S. Hittell, Resources of California (7th ed., San Francisco, 1879); J. S. Hittell, Commerce and Industries of the Pacific Coast (San Francisco, 1882); T. F. Cronise, Natural Wealth of California (San Francisco, 1868); E. W. Maslin, Resources of California, prepared by order of Governor H. H. Markham (Sacramento, 1893); United States Treasury, Bureau of Statistics, report by T. J. Vivian on “Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, Transportation and Other Industries of California” (Washington 1890, valuable for whole period before 1890); United States Censuses, 1890 and 1900, reports on agriculture, manufactures, mines and fisheries; California State Board of Trade (San Francisco), Annual Report from 1890. On Mineral Industries:—J. R. Browne, Report on “Mineral Resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky Mountains” (United States Treasury, 2 vols., Washington, 1867–1868); United States Geological Survey, Annual Reports, Mineral Resources; consult also the bibliographies of publications of the Survey, issued as Bulletins; California State Mining Bureau, Bulletins from 1888, note especially No. 30, 1904, by A. W. Vodges, “Bibliography relating to the Geology, Palaeontology and Mineral Resources of California” (2nd ed., the 1st being Bulletin No. 10, 1896); California Débris Commission, Reports (in Annual Reports Chief of Engineers, United States Army, from 1893).
Government.—E. F. Treadwell, The Constitution of the State of California . . . Annotated (San Francisco, 1902); Johns Hopkins University, Studies in History and Political Science, xiii., R. D. Hunt, “Genesis of California’s First Constitution”; Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, xii., R. D. Hunt, “Legal Status of California, 1846–1849”; Reports of the various officers, departments and administrative boards of the state government (Sacramento), and also the Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly, which contains, especially in the earlier decades of the state’s history, many of these state official reports along with valuable legislative reports of varied character.
History.—Accounts of the valuable archives in Bancroft, and by Z. E. Eldridge in California Genealogical Society (1901); elaborate bibliographies in Bancroft with analyses and appreciations of many works. Of general scope and fundamental importance is the work of two men, Hubert H. Bancroft and Theodore H. Hittell. The former has published a History of California, 1542–1890 (7 vols., San Francisco, 1884–1890), also California Pastoral, 1769–1848 (San Francisco, 1888), California Inter-Pocula, 1848–1856 (San Francisco, 1888), and Popular Tribunals (2 vols., San Francisco, 1887). These volumes were largely written under Mr. Bancroft’s direction and control by an office staff, and are of very unequal value; they are a vast storehouse of detailed material which is of great usefulness, although their judgments of men are often inadequate and prejudiced. As regards events the histories are of substantial accuracy and adequacy. Written by one hand and more uniform in treatment and good judgment, is T. H. Hittell’s History of California (4 vols., San Francisco, 1885–1897). The older historian of the state was Francisco Palou, a Franciscan, the friend and biographer of Serra; his “Noticias de la Nueva California” (Mexico, 1857, in the Doc. Hist. Mex., ser. iv., tom. vi.-viii.; also San Francisco, 1874, 4 vols.) is no longer of importance save for its historical interest. Of the contemporary material on the period of Mexican domination the best is afforded by R. H. Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast (New York, 1840, many later and foreign editions); also A. Robinson, Life in California (New York, 1846); and Alexander Forbes, California: A History of Upper and Lower California from their First Discovery to the Present Time (London, 1839); see also F. W. Blackmar, “Spanish Institutions of the Southwest” (Johns Hopkins University Studies, 1891). A beautiful, vivid and reputedly very accurate picture of the old society is given in Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel, Ramona (New York, 1884). There is no really scientific separate account of mission history; there are books by Father Z. Engelhart, The Franciscans in California (Harbor Springs, Michigan, 1899), written entirely from a Franciscan standpoint; C. F. Carter, Missions of Nueva California (San Francisco, 1900); Bryan J. Clinch, California and its Missions: Their History to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (2 vols., San Francisco, 1904); Francisco Palou, Relacion Historica de la Vida . . . del Fray Junipero Serra (Mexico, 1787), the standard contemporary source; the Craftsman (Syracuse, N.Y., vol. v.), a series of articles on “Mission Buildings,” by G. W. James. On the case of the Pious Fund of the missions see J. F. Doyle, History of the Pious Fund (San Francisco, 1887); United States Department of State, “United States v. Mexico. Report of J. H. Ralston, agent of the United States and of counsel in the matter of the Pious Fund of the Californias” (Washington, 1902). On the “flush” mining years the best books of the time are J. Q. Thornton’s Oregon and California (2 vols., New York, 1849); Edward Bryant’s What I Saw in California (New York, 1848); W. Shaw’s Golden Dreams (London, 1851); Bayard Taylor’s Eldorado (2 vols., New York, 1850); W. Colton’s Three Years in California (New York, 1850); E. G. Buffum’s Six Months in the Gold Mines; from a Journal of Three Years’ Residence in Upper and Lower California (London, 1850); J. T. Brooks’ Four Months among the Gold Finders (London, 1849); G. G. Foster, Gold Regions of California (New York, 1884). On this same period consult Bancroft’s Popular Tribunals; D. Y. Thomas, “A History of Military Government in Newly Acquired Territory of the United States,” in vol. xx. No. 2 (New York, 1904) of Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law; C. H. Shinn’s Mining Camps: A Study in American Frontier Government (New York, 1885); J. Royce, California . . . A Study of American Character, 1846–1856 (Boston, 1886); and, for varied pictures of mining and frontier life, the novels and sketches and poems of Bret Harte. See also P. H. Burnet, Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer (New York, 1880); S. J. Field, Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California (privately published, copyright 1893).
- In December 1904 Salton Sea was dry; in February 1906 it was occupied by a lake 60 m. long.
- During the interval from 1850 to 1872 the yearly rainfall at San Francisco ranged from 11.37 to 49.27 in.; from 1850 to 1904 the average was 22.74, and the probable annual variation 4 in.
- The means for Los Angeles and Red Bluff, of Redding and Fresno, of San Diego and Sacramento, of San Francisco or Monterey and Independence, are respectively about the same; and all of them lie between 56° and 63° F. The places mentioned are scattered over 31° of longitude and 61° of latitude.
- Small masses of water made to fall great distances and the use of turbines are important features of such plants. One on the North Yuba river at Colgate, where there is a 700 ft. fall, serves Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, at high pressure yielding in San Francisco (220 m. away) 75% of its power. Other plants are one at Electra (154 m. from San Francisco), and one on the San Joaquin, which delivers to Fresno 62 m. distant.
- The 1905 census of manufactures deals only with establishments under the factory system; its figures for 1905 and the figures for 1900 reduced to the same limits are as follows:—total value of products, 1905, $367,218,494; 1900, $257,385,521, an increase of 42.7%; leading industries, with value of product in millions of dollars—canning and preserving, first in 1905 with 23.8 millions, third in 1900 with 13.4 millions; slaughtering and meat-packing, second in 1905 with 21.79 millions, first in 1900 with 15.71 millions; flour and grist mill products, third in 1905 with 20.2 millions, fourth in 1900 with 13.04 millions; lumber and timber, fourth in 1905 with 18.27 millions, second in 1900 with 13.71 millions; printing and publishing, fifth in 1905 with 17.4 millions, sixth in 1900 with 9.6 millions; foundry and machine shop products, sixth in 1905 with 15.7 millions, fifth in 1900 with 12.04 millions; planing mill products, seventh in 1905 with 13.9 millions, twelfth in 1900 with 4.8 millions; bread and other bakery products, eighth in 1905 with 10.6 millions, eleventh in 1900 with 4.87 millions.
- As months and even years often elapsed between the date when early governors were appointed and the beginning of their actual service, the date of commission is disregarded, and the date of service given. Sometimes this is to be regarded as beginning at Monterey, sometimes elsewhere in California, sometimes at Loreto in Lower California. All the Spanish and Mexican governors were appointed by the national government, except in the case of the semi-revolutionary rulers of 1831–1832 and 1836 (Alvarado), whose title rested on revolution, or on local choice under a national statute regarding gubernatorial vacancies.
- Acting political chief, revolutionary title.
- Briefly recognized in South.
- Revolutionary title, 1836–1838.
- Appointed 1837, never recognized in the North.