Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/341

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SAN FRANCISCO.


The politics of the State before the war were Democratic, with a rather strong Southern bias. There was a long feud between the two great Senatorial paladins, Broderick and Gwin, which resulted in the death of Broderick by the duelling-pistol of one of the partisans of the latter. There was the long fight and a final deliverance from an incubus of forged Spanish land titles, the manufacture of which "had become a business and a trade," and which covered the area of the city many times over. Then came the war, and the peculiarities growing out of the retention of a solid currency, while the rest of the country was deluged with a depreciated paper.

The brilliant period, later, when the Bonanza mines were pouring out their floods of riches, and the favorite stocks were running delightfully up and down the gamut from $1 to $700 a share, was followed, as I have said, by a depression of the deepest dye. In the unbearable disappointment of their losses, and the stagnation of trade, a part of the community snatched at a theory held out to them by demagogues, that it was their political institutions which were somehow to blame. Upon this basis a singular new party, wild and half-communistic in character, arose, and met with a brief success. The truckman, Denis Kearney, was its Caius Gracchus or Watt Tyler, and set it in motion with blasphemous mouthings from an improvised tribune in the Sand-lots. It elected a mayor who was at the same time a Baptist preacher. This mayor's son -preacher, too- rode up one day and assassinated at his own door an editor who had passed strictures on their course. The party voted a new constitution, which was thought to be a prelude to universal confiscation, and capitalists fled before it in alarm.

And, finally, this remarkable city, having become the

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