The New International Encyclopædia/California
CALIFOR′NIA (a name applied in Spanish romance as early as 1520 to a fabulous island near the Indies, and “very near the Terrestrial Paradise”). A State on the Pacific Coast of the United States of America, ranking second in area (not reckoning the Territory of Alaska), twenty-first in population, and eighteenth in order of admission, and popularly known as the “Golden State,” or in the West simply as the Coast (Map: United States, Western Part, B 3) . The State is bounded on the north by Oregon, in the east by Nevada and a small portion of Arizona, on the south by Lower California (Mexico), and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It stretches along the coast from latitude 32° 40′ N. to latitude 42°, a distance, measured along the centre of the State, of 750 miles, and its eastern boundary conforms to the curve of the seacoast, so that its breadth is approximately the same throughout, averaging about 200 miles. The meridian of 120° W. longitude marks the eastern boundary of the northern third of the State, and bisects the eastward-trending southern part, dividing the whole into two nearly equal parts. The total land area is 155,980 square miles.
Topography. The physiography of this immense State is strikingly varied, but, broadly stated, consists of two parallel mountain systems, extending northwest and southeast, inclosing between them a very extensive valley, in addition to which is included in the northeast a part of the Great Basin, and in the southeast a part of the Colorado Plateau. Of the two mountain systems, the longer is that known collectively as the Coast Range, being a part of the uplift which defines the continental west coast from the extremity of Lower California to the edge of Oregon, and which reappears in the Olympic range of Washington and the islands of British Columbia, and southern Alaska. Within the limits of California, beginning at the south, it is made up of the San Jacinto, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, and San Gabriel ranges, then of the San Rafael and Santa Lucia mountains along the lofty coast between Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Interior to these is a second lesser range, called by the Mexican settlers Sierra Madre, which becomes more prominent northward, is broken by the Bay of San Francisco and outlet-valley of the Sacramento River, and extends thence to the border of Oregon, where the watershed bends eastward and forms the very lofty Shasta and Salmon River ranges; but Shasta belongs orographically to the Cascade system of Oregon. Notable altitudes in this system are as follows: San Bernardino Mountain, 11,600 feet; San Jacinto Mountain, 10,987 feet; San Gabriel Peak, 6152 feet; Tehachapi Peak, 9214 feet; Mount Pinos, 9214 feet; Mount Diablo, 2849 feet; Thunder Mountain, 9125 feet; Eddy Mountain, 9161 feet; Scott Mountain, 7850 feet; China Mountain, 8000 feet; Siskiyou Peak, 7662 feet. The altitude of Mount Shasta, a volcimic mass, is 14,380 feet, and its group contains several other peaks approaching 10,000 feet in height.
East of the Coast Ranges, and parallel with them, lies the Sierra Nevada (‘Snowy Range’), at a distance of 100 to 140 miles, stretching from the 36th parallel northwestward nearly to the 41st, where it ends at the valley of Pitt River, which separates it from the Shasta Range. This system, one of the grandest on the continent, consists of a massive uplift of ancient stratified rocks, which have been worn into an area of clustered peaks, averaging 50 miles wide and over 400 miles long. The eastern side is abrupt and rises from the plateau of Nevada, but the western slope, receiving nearly all the rainfall and delivering all the drainage, has been worn into a series of tremendous cañons, of which those of the Merced (Yosemite) Kings, Tuolumne, and American rivers are far-famed. The Sierra Nevada is characterized by its extreme ruggedness, the sharp, precipitous, deeply sculptured profile of its peaks and gorges, and by the great average altitude of its central mass, as well as by the prevalence of many peaks, which not only reach into the zone of perpetual snow, but bear remnants of the vast glaciers which, until comparatively recent times, covered the crests of the whole range and took so large a part in its erosion. The principal peaks and their measurements, from south to north, are as follows, beginning with the highest mountain in the United States proper: Mount Whitney, 14,898 feet; Kaweah Peak, 14,000 feet; Mount Brewer, 13,886 feet; Mount Lyell, 13,042 feet; Merced Peak, 11,413 feet; Gray Peak, 11,174 feet; Dunderberg, 13,320 feet; Twin Peak, 8924 feet; Matterhorn, 12,175 feet; Tower Peak, 11,704 feet; Leavitt's Peak, 11,553 feet; Sonora Mountain, 11,478 feet; Stanislaus Peak, 11,209 feet; Pyramid Peak, 10,052 feet. The fact that the southern end of the range is loftier than the northern may indicate the greater work of erosion at the north, due to the greater rainfall there. From Sierra County there runs straight northward along the Nevada boundary a line of elevations of igneous origin, called the Warner Range, containing many high peaks. West of this line of peaks a plateau formed by a lava overflow and averaging 5000 feet above the sea, stretches to the Shasta and Siskiyou mountains and northward into the Klamath region of Oregon.
Between these two mountain systems, the Coast ranges and the Sierra Nevada, lies the great valley of California, broadly open for some 400 miles from where the Kern River Mountains connect the Sierra Nevada with the Coast Range at Tehachapi, to where Shasta closes it in the far north. This valley is divisible into three parts. The first is the basin of the Sacramento River, north of San Francisco Bay, into which the river empties. This stream begins as the Pitt River, which flows out of Goose Lake, in the northern part of the State, forces its way through the gorges that separate the Sierra Nevada from the Shasta Range, and after receiving the McCloud from Mount Shasta, turns southward as the Sacramento River. It is fed by many streams from the mountains on each side, of which the Indian, Feather, and American are largest, and in its lower course traverses a marshy floodplain, annually overflowed. South of where the river turns into the sea and expands into Suisun and San Pablo bays, the valley is occupied by another large river, the San Joaquin, which gathers the waters from all the southern mountains, through its own sources in the heights of Fresno County, and by means of the Merced, the La Grange, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Consumnes and many lessor streams, which periodically pour floods down the valley to flood many square miles of reedy marshes, among which the San Joaquin joins the Sacramento. South of the head of the San Joaquin Valley, and separated from it at Fresno by a low divide, begins a somewhat circular, dry, and fairly level plain, about 100 miles long by 80 broad, the western part of which is a low, alkaline desert, surrounding Tulare Lake—an expanse of marsh-girt waters, 25 miles broad. Into this basin pours Kings River, and toward it flow many other mountain streams, which mostly disappear in the sand. In the southern part of this valley-plain the Kern River flows southwestward through a region some 500 feet above sea-level, and empties into Buena Vista Lake. South and east of the mountains the country becomes a hot and waterless waste, named Mohave and Colorado deserts, sloping gradually to the Rio Colorado and the Gulf of California. In the northern half this waste is broken by ranges and groups of arid, volcanic hills, among which lie deep salt-covered valleys, the most forbidding of which is Death Valley (q.v.), an alkaline, lava-strewn depression near the Nevada boundary and just north of the 36th parallel. The valley is from 200 to 350 feet below sea-level. On the seaward side of the Sierra Madre, however, is an extensive region, narrowing northward to Santa Barbara, comprising the most populous and useful part of Southern California—the districts about San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. Similar coast districts are repeated northward in Monterey and Santa Clara counties, and north of San Francisco Bay, in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, west of the Coast Range. Some important rivers descend to the sea in these coastal spaces, such as Russian River, in Sonoma County; Eel River, in Mendocino and Humboldt counties; and Trinity River, in Trinity County, all of which have a northwest course. Flowing irregularly southwest across the northwest corner of the State, is the Klamath River, which drains the Siskiyou, Salmon, and other coast ranges of that region.
The coast south of Santa Barbara is low and sandy, with several large islands in the offing. But north of Santa Barbara it is high and rocky, bold cliffs facing the sea, almost unbroken by harbors, other than that of the Bay of San Francisco, entered through the rift in the coast, cut by the joint outflowing of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, and called the Golden Gate.
AREA AND POPULATION OF CALIFORNIA BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Calaveras||C 2||San Andreas||1,080||8,882||11,200|
|Contra Costa||B 3||Martinez||728||13,515||18,046|
|Del Norte||B 1||Crescent City||992||2,592||2,408|
|Los Angeles||D 4||Los Angeles||4,202||101,454||170,298|
|Marin||B 2||San Rafael||549||13,072||15,702|
|Nevada||C 2||Nevada City||972||17,369||17,789|
|Orange||D 5||Santa Ana||750||13,589||19,696|
|San Benito||C 3||Hollister||1,388||6,412||6,633|
|San Bernardino||E 4||San Bernardino||19,947||25,497||27,929|
|San Diego||F 5||San Diego||8,478||34,987||35,090|
|San Francisco||B 3||San Francisco||47||298,997||342,782|
|San Joaquin||C 3||Stockton||1,396||28,629||35,452|
|San Luis Obispo||C 4||San Luis Obispo||3,310||16,072||16,637|
|San Mateo||B 3||Redwood City||434||10,087||12,094|
|Santa Barbara||C 4||Santa Barbara||2,632||15,754||18,934|
|Santa Clara||C 3||San José||1,286||48,005||60,216|
|Santa Cruz||B 3||Santa Cruz||424||19,270||21,512|
|Sonoma||B 2||Santa Rosa||1,620||32,721||38,480|
|Sutter||C 2||Yuba City||622||5,469||5,886|
Climate. No State of the United States, indeed, few of the most favored countries of the world, can boast of so delightful a climate as that of the valley lands of California. Two seasons, the wet and the dry, divide the year; the first so called because it is the only period during which it rains, though rains are not continuous, and the average fall for the State, twenty-three inches, is less than at Chicago or Saint Louis. This season lasts from about the middle of November till April or May.
At San Francisco snow is almost unknown, the mercury never remains below the freezing point for twenty-four hours, and flowers bloom in the gardens at Christmas time. The average mean temperature at San Francisco is 51°—summer, 60°; winter, 49°. Trade winds from the southwest prevail along the coast and give the valleys opening toward San Francisco Bay a climate peculiarly their own. Owing to the cool summer climate of the coast between parallels 35 and 40. San Francisco in July is cooler than San Diego by 7°, and than New York by 17°, and does not attain its highest temperature until the trade winds cease in September.
In the central valleys greater extremes of temperature are experienced than along the coast. The mean temperature for this belt is 64°, and is remarkably uniform. In the north the summer is warmer and the winter cooler than in the south. The rainfall decreases gradually from north to south, being 51 inches at Cape Mendocino and 46.6 inches at Redding, in the interior, on the same parallel as Cape Mendocino, 23 inches at San Francisco and 4 inches at Bakersfield. In southern California the climate may be said to reach perfection. At San Diego the mean winter temperature is 54°, summer, 68°, and at Santa Barbara, 53° and 68° respectively. At Monterey the difference between the average temperature of January and July, is 6°; at Los Angeles, 12°. San Diego is 6° or 7° cooler than Charleston or Vicksburg, which are nearly in the same latitude. The great heat of the interior and of the southwest, where, as at Fort Yuma, the average summer temperature is 92°, is due to the dryness, which is easily borne, and sunstrokes never occur. Thunderstorms are common in California. Everywhere the nights are cool, or at least endurable; the clearness of the atmosphere causing rapid radiation. Early spring, comprising the latter part of February and the month of March, is the most delightful part of the year. The air is mild, the sky clear, and the landscape gay with flowers. Summers are dry except along the coast from six to ten miles inland, where fogs are likely to occur. During the summer the earth becomes dried to a depth of several inches; the air is filled with dust, the vegetation is burned brown, and the smaller streams disappear, a state of things that lasts until the autumn rains begin. Among prominent winter resorts are San Diego, noted for its fine harbor, on one side of which is the famous Coronado Beach; Santa Barbara, overlooking the Pacific, a favorite watering-place; Santa Monica, noted for surf-bathing throughout the year; Santa Cruz, with a fine beach and background of mountains; Monterey, on beautiful Monterey Bay, associated with the earlier history of the province under Spanish rule; Indio, over 100 feet below sea-level, is remarkable for cures effected by its air in pulmonary diseases; Los Angeles and adjoining places, including Pasadena, in a section that has been termed ‘the Italy’ of the United States—a paradise of rose-gardens, vineyards, and lemon and orange groves. Other resorts are the Arrowhead Hot Springs, El Paso de Roble, and Napa Soda Springs.
|COPYRIGHT, 1902, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY||JULIUS BIEN & CO. LITH. N.Y.|
|1 GILIA - GILIA TRICOLOR||4 BUTTERFLY TULIP - CALOCHORTUS VENUSTUS|
|2 WESTERN DOG'S-TOOTH VIOLET - ERYTHRONIUM GRANDIFLORUM||5 CALIFORNIA POPPY - ESCHSCHOLTZIA CALIFORNICA|
|3 CALOCHORTUS LUTEUS||6 CALIFORNIA LILY - LILIUM PARDALINUM|
Flora. As California presents almost every variation of climate known on earth, ranging from that of the tropics to that of the Arctic regions on its high mountains, and from a copious rainfall to the aridity of the desert, it naturally presents a very wide variation in its flora. The influence of climate upon flora is nowhere more strongly marked than in this State. The tree flora of California, as of the entire western part of the country, is characterized by consisting almost entirely of coniferæ, while broad-leafed trees are very few in number, consisting of oaks, madroña, and a few other species very limited in number and distribution. The trees of all species are of great size. For illustration, see Sequoia.
Stretching along the Coast ranges from the Oregon line southward nearly to the Bay of San Francisco, and in scattered groves even as far as Santa Cruz, is found the redwood, whose enormous trees form an extremely dense forest, extending to the lower part of Mendocino County. This forest occupies the foggy, wet stretch of land closely bordering the coast. East of this, in the northern Coast ranges, is a mixed forest consisting of red fir and yellow and sugar pines. The coast ranges south of these forests are almost treeless, but are covered with grasses, and often with a variety of thorny bushes, catsclaw, manzanita, scrub oak, etc., which collectively are known as chaparral. Here and there among them are scattered oaks and digger pines. The ranges of southern California, which rise to greater altitudes, are, on their lower slopes, covered with chaparral, while above 5000 feet are open forests of yellow pine, with scattered specimens of sugar and Coulter pine among them. The valleys of southern California contain some chaparral, with a little grass and many cacti and Spanish bayonet, being the vegetation which is peculiar to an arid region.
The great valley of California is, in its northern part, covered with a scattering growth of oaks, while the southern part is devoid of timber of any sort, and is more or less under cultivation. The marshes on the lower courses of the Sacramento are covered with tule reeds. The Sierra Nevada is, on its lower slopes, covered with a thick growth of chaparral, with a few oaks and digger pines, while above an altitude ranging from 3000 feet in the southern part to 1500 feet in the north begins the yellow-pine belt, which is composed mainly of trees of that species, with sugar-pine, incense-cedar, and red fir intermingled. This occupies a strip on the west slope of the range, extending up to an altitude of 8000 or 9000 feet, above which it is succeeded to the timber-line, which ranges from 9000 to 10,000 feet, by trees of more Arctic character—firs, hemlock, and, finally, at the timber-line, by white-barked pine. On the east side of the range the succession is somewhat similar, but the belts are much narrower, owing to the abruptness of the range on this side. The plateau east of the range is a desert, with very little vegetation, and that of low shrubby growth. In the yellow-pine belt, upon the west slope of the Sierra, there occur ten groves of Sequoia Gigantea, the largest and oldest tree on earth, ranging in size up to 33 or 34 feet in diameter, with heights of from 300 to 350 feet. These do not occur in pure growth, but scattered among the yellow pines. Most of the groves are within national forest reserves or national parks, but much of the land, unfortunately, is held in private hands, and the trees are being cut for lumber.
|COPYRIGHT, 1902, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY||JULIUS BIEN & CO. LITH. N.Y.|
|1 CALIFORNIA SHRUBBY MONKEY-FLOWER - MIMULUS GLUTINOSUS||4 SHRUBBY POPPY - DENDROMECON RIGIDUM|
|2 CALIFORNIA LILAC - CEANOTHUS THYRSIFLORUS||5 MANZANITA - ARCTOSTAPHYLOS MANZANITA|
|3 CHAMISO - ADENOSTOMA FASCICULATUM||6 CALIFORNIA LAUREL - UMBELLULARIA CALIFORNICA|
Fauna. As California extends north and south through nine degrees of latitude, and ranges from arid deserts in the south to humid and forested mountains in the north, and from the lofty Sierras on the east to the sea. it must not only embrace a large variety of animal life, but include several distinct faunas adapted to its varied climates and terrenes, such as those of the coastal valleys and plains; of successive zones of altitude in the mountains; of the sandy southern semi-tropical deserts, etc. Few of its animals are of the same species as those found in the eastern half of the United States. The representatives are all of distinct surface races; but California is closely allied, zoölogically, to the interior basin and Rocky Mountain region. Among the characteristic mammals of the State are the grizzly and black bears; wolves, large and small, and several fur-bearers; puma and lynx; varieties of the white-tailed and black-tailed deer, and in the extreme north the Columbian blacktail. The bison never entered the State; the wapiti did so formerly, but is no longer to be found there. The bighorn wanders in the high Sierra, where also are found the peculiar little beaver-like sewellel, and various picas. Several rodents, such as the golden and Douglas squirrels, are peculiar to these parts of the mountains, while the plains abound in burrowing rodents, among which are large hares that have increased since civilization reduced their enemies, until in the central and southerly parts of the State they have become a decided pest. The coast fauna comprises several representatives of the seal family. The birds of California include many species not known elsewhere. A species of vulture, the California condor, was the most remarkable, but is extinct save in Lower California. The two crested quails of the State are familiar to sportsmen, as also is the large local ground-cuckoo, called road-runner. Another remarkable local bird is the California woodpecker, peculiar in storing great quantities of acorns in holes in the bark of trees for winter consumption. The islands off the coast, especially the Farallones, are well supplied with sea-birds. Among reptiles, two or three species of rattlesnakes are exceedingly numerous in the lower parts of the mountains, and all over the southern region, where also a great variety of lizards exists. The fishes of both the sea and fresh waters are numerous and valuable. Peculiar classes of sea-fish are the rose-fish, smelts, surf-fish, herrings, rock-trout, and various important food-fishes of the cod family. The rivers of the north receive annually vast ‘runs’ of salmon, which are different from the Eastern salmon (see Salmon). Few of these fishes are the same as Atlantic species, but many belong to groups well represented elsewhere. The care and protection of game animals and fish-culture have received much attention.
Geology. A large part of the area is underlain by sedimentary strata of a comparatively recent geological age. Triassic and Jurassic beds predominate in the northern and west-central parts, and Cretaceous and Tertiary beds in the coastal region. Along the Sierra Nevada and Coast ranges volcanic rocks are strongly developed and cover wide areas. The central axes of these two great ranges are formed, however, by ancient igneous and metamorphic rocks which may belong to the Archæan formation. Granite is especially prominent in these localities and constitutes some of the highest peaks. The elevation of the Coast Range took place at the close of the Miocene period, while the Sierras were formed largely by an uplift that occurred near the end of the Jurassic period. Carboniferous strata occupy a large area in the central part of the State, but they inclose no coal-seams of economic importance.
Mining. California is rich in mineral deposits, particularly gold, which is found in over thirty counties, and the rapid settlement and development of the State were due to this fact. Gold was obtained by washing as early as 1841, near San Fernando mission; but it was the discovery at Sutter's Mill, near Coloma, in 1848, that made evident the abundance of the metal and attracted the excited throngs of adventurers, Many of these engaged in river mining—i.e. washing in sheet-iron pans or wooden ‘rockers’ the gold from the sands or gravels from or near river channels; others dug the gold ‘dry’ from veins in the rocks. About 1851 sluices were introduced, by means of which the gravels or sands were run over the bottom of a wooden box provided with blocks of wood or round stones to catch the gold as it sank. Digging soon extended from the rivers and the gulches to the higher ground, where the difficulty of washing was increased; but in 1852 the hydraulic system was brought in. In this, continuous powerful streams of water are directed through nozzles upon a gold-bearing bank or deposit. This was so successful that whole hills were reduced and swept away, but this practice was soon forbidden by law, as the detritus threatened to choke the rivers and seriously damage the agricultural interests in the valleys below. Nearly all the mines are on the western slope and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in a belt of country about 220 miles long by 40 wide, extending into Oregon. The gold is found in a metallic condition, but is usually mixed with silver or other metals. In stream or alluvial deposits (‘placers’) it occurs as fine scales or coarse grains. In rocks, it is found in quartz veins, and costly machinery must be used to crush the ore, from which the gold is extracted by amalgamation with quicksilver. Where, as often is the case, the gold-bearing gravels underlie volcanic rock several hundred feet thick, drift or tunnel mining combined with sluicing is necessary. The chief gravel-mining region extends from Mariposa County into Plumas County, or between parallels 37° and 41°, and includes some quartz veins. Most of the gold is now obtained from the quartz mines, especially in Calaveras, Kern, Trinity, El Dorado, Nevada, and Sierra counties. Gold-mining is to-day greatly facilitated by the application of electrical power, which the mountain streams are made to generate. The great prominence and significance of gold in the early years of the State are evident from the great size of the output, the annual average for the decade between 1850 and 1859 inclusive being estimated fit over $55,000,000, and constituting nearly the entire product of the United States. Following this period there was a constant decline in the output, which reached the minimum ($12,000,000) in 1892; it then revived, and for the last half-decade of the century averaged over $15,000,000 annually. The State continued to hold first place until 1897, when it was surpassed by Colorado. The total output of the State to the end of 1900 was about $1,350,000,000. While rich silver ores are found, there are no mines which produce silver exclusively. The $700,000 of silver mined in 1900, an increase over former years, was a by-product from gold, lead, or copper mining. Copper-mining has recently made rapid progress, and the State ranks fourth in the production of copper ore, the yield having increased from 6300 tons in 1897 to 13,200 tons in 1900. This ore, which is found principally in Shasta County, is partly shipped out of the State for smelting.
The State produces almost the whole of the quicksilver output of the United States, its mines rivaling those of Spain in productiveness. From 1875 to 1882 the output averaged 64,000 flasks annually, but since that period the annual average has been only 30,000 flasks; the value of the product ranged from $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. Fifty per cent. of the product is secured from Santa Clara County. The fuel products of the State include petroleum, bituminous coal, and natural gas, of which the first is the most important. The oil is found in the southern coast region, particularly Los Angeles, Kern, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. It is refined to some extent, but its most important use is as a fuel. Its production is steadily increasing, the output having grown from 300,000 barrels in 1890 to 4,250,000 barrels in 1900. Bituminous coal is mined in Monte Diablo and the neighboring hills. For several years the output fluctuated around $200,000 in value, but for a few years now the annual output has doubled that amount. Natural gas is found in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The State ranks second in the production of mineral water, the product for 1899 having been estimated at $698,000. Salt is obtained by the evaporation of sea-water. Building-stone is abundant, and includes hydraulic limestone, rhyolite, bluish and light-brown sandstones from San Francisco Bay, and from San José a light-brown variety, which is almost pure silica, cuts easily, and stands fire well. San Bernardino County yields marbles of many shades; El Dorado County, fine white marble, streaked with blue; and in Inyo County some of the foothills are composed of white marble equal to Italian. Freestone, buhrstone, granite, and basalt suitable for pavements and buildings are also found in abundance, while the granite output averaged in value about $1,000,000 annually during the last decade of the century. Brick clays occur in some localities. Asphalt is obtained in varying quantities and constitutes the greater part of the output of the United States, the largest annual product, that for 1898, exceeding $600,000 in value.
Fisheries. California rivals Oregon in the extent of her salmon fisheries, the annual exports of salmon alone exceeding $2,000,000 in value. The supply of this and other varieties of fish has been increased through the activity of the State Government in enforcing protective laws and establishing hatcheries. The annual exports of shell-fish fall a little under $200,000 in value. The total value of the exports of fish from San Francisco during 1895-97 exceeded $2,500,000. There is a large local consumption of salt fish—flounder, sole, and tomcod—the supply of which is secured by drag net fishing along the mud banks extending from Point Reyes south to Monterey. The State ranks next to Massachusetts in whale-fishing.
Agriculture. California has no equal among the States, and, indeed, scarcely among the countries of the world, in natural agricultural possibilities. In no other part of the world is so great a variety of crops brought to so high a stage of development. Over the greater portion of the agricultural area the crops of both the temperate and the sub-tropical zones can be grown at will, with equal success. Since 1850 the agricultural section of the population has increased more rapidly than any other. During the decade 1890-1900, the number of owners and tenants increased much more rapidly than did the total rural population, being contrary to the tendency shown in the two decades preceding. This is indicative of the movement now in process by which the large estates, under the influence of increased irrigation and intensive cultivation, are passing into the hands of smaller landowners. These large estates were partly the result of easy acquisition of land and partly of confirmation by the United States Government of Mexican land grants to private individuals. The holders of these estates were at first opposed to subdividing them, and only recently have settlers been able to obtain desirable farms on them. Still the average size of the farms in 1900—397.4 acres—was quite large, and there were 4753 farms which contained 1000 acres and over, constituting 62.8 per cent. of the total farm acreage. The income per acre from the farms is in inverse ratio to their total area; the farms under three acres in size having an average income of $253.89 per acre, while the farms of 1000 acres and over averaged but $2.02 per acre. The smaller farms are devoted to city dairying, and to floriculture, and to the more valuable and intensively cultivated crops, while the larger are generally unirrigated stock or grain farms.
The earlier agricultural period was characterized by the great predominance of wheat-raising. Many of the large holdings were almost exclusively devoted to this industry, giving rise to the large ranch or bonanza farms of world-wide fame. Thus the production of wheat became enormous, at one time exceeding that of any other State. This was accomplished for the most part without irrigation. The Defiance and the White Australian varieties were grown for milling, and Sonora wheat for shipping, the dryness of the atmosphere resulting in a superior quality of grain which was in special demand in the London markets. The maximum acreage under wheat (2,875,000) was reached in 1893, since when the State has lost in relative importance as a wheat-producing State. The central valley is the great wheat district of the State. Owing to the level formation of the surface and the freedom from any kind of obstruction, the most expensive and complicated farm machinery invented is more extensively used here than anywhere else in the world. The same machine plows the ground, prepares the soil, and sows the seed, and probably two-thirds of the crop is gathered with a combined reaper and thresher. Steam power is largely used. Barley is the only other cereal which is extensively grown, and the only crop which has been rotated with wheat. The conditions are very favorable to its growth, and there is a tendency to substitute it for corn as a stock-food. About 1,000,000 acres are devoted to its cultivation—or nearly one-third of the total acreage under that crop in the United States. Both wheat and barley are extensively used for hay, being cut down while green. Corn matures later and requires irrigation, and inasmuch as the irrigated land is more profitable when devoted to the more valuable crops, and barley can be substituted for corn, but little of the latter is cultivated. Oats likewise is little grown except for use as hay. The total, in 1900, for all grains cut green for use as forage was 1,506,000 acres, or considerably more than twice the amount of all other hay and forage crops. The acreage for hay and forage crops was 56.4 greater in 1900 than in 1890. The abundance of alfalfa and other food-plants of the bee has encouraged the keeping of bees, and honey is a considerable product.
The native grasses, oats, and clover dry without cutting, but constant pasturage has almost exterminated them, and alfalfa in moist regions, and Texas mesquit grass on dry hills and plains, are taking their place. Alfalfa yields three to four crops a season. The cultivation of hops is rapidly becoming an important industry.
Irrigation. The aridity of the climate of California is not so extreme as is generally supposed, nor is it without its advantages. In most parts the rainfall of the spring months is sufficient for the development of the early maturing crops, while the numerous mountain streams supply a source of irrigation for the production of the more valuable or the later-maturing crops. In nearly every county some farming is done without the aid of irrigation. The irrigated area, however, is being constantly and rapidly extended, and is exceeded only by that in Colorado, although the value per acre of the products of the irrigated land is much greater than that of Colorado or any other State. In 1900 the advantages of irrigation were afforded to 35.4 per cent. of the total number of farms, and to 12.1 per cent. of the total improved acreage, or 1,446,000 acres of land. The irrigated farms averaged only 57 acres in area. The average cost, per acre irrigated, of the construction of works for irrigation was $10.30 for the State, but in certain districts, and particularly in the southern counties, the cost is much higher, reaching $42.57 in San Diego County. There are 152,500 acres irrigated from wells and tunnels, but the greater portion receives its supply from streams and other surface sources.
As a result of the growing irrigation facilities, the horticultural products are becoming especially prominent. Many varieties of horticultural plants, difficult or impossible to raise in other States, and for a supply of which the country was formerly dependent upon imports from abroad, are now produced with great success in California. This is especially true of the regions where the rainfall is lightest, and the necessity and consequent advantages of irrigation are greatest—i.e. on the southern Pacific coast and in the valley of the San Joaquin. But more recently the development of fruit-growing in the Sacramento Valley has made irrigation prominent in that region, the application of the system being greatly facilitated by the utilization of abandoned ditches, originally used as water-conduits in connection with hydraulic mining. In the central and northern coast regions the natural rainfall, unaided by irrigation, is adequate even for fruit-culture. The cultivation of fruit and the preparation of it for the market now give employment to more people than any other industry. Of the great variety of horticultural plants grown in the State, the most notable are the vine, the citrus fruits, oranges and lemons, and the prune, the latter being more extensively cultivated than any other orchard fruit in the State.
Viticulture was early introduced by the Spaniards, but no specialty was made of it until 1857. At present it receives much attention in almost every agricultural section of the State. The choicest and hardiest European wine-grapes have been imported, and are rapidly replacing the less desirable varieties. The phylloxera has created great havoc, and the only way of overcoming it seems to be by grafting choice varieties of grapes on native wild vines known as resistant vines, which the phylloxera will not attack. The production of wine and raisins (see table below) has reached enormous proportions, and the State supplies the whole country with table-grapes of superior qualities. Fresno County is especially famous for its raisin crop.
Oranges were first planted in Los Angeles, and up to about 1872 the production was confined principally to that region. A large part of the long interior valley has since been found to be adapted to citrus-culture, and the citrus belt now extends along the foot-hills from Shasta to San Diego, a distance of over 700 miles. Owing to the dry warmth of the inner valleys and to the longer days in summer, the fruit ripens at Oroville, Newcastle, etc., six weeks earlier than at Riverside or Pasadena. In southern California oranges are gathered fresh from Christmas to July, and lemons and limes all the year. Nine or more varieties of oranges are grown, and from the sweet navel, or seedless orange, a non-alcoholic wine is made.
In the year 1899-1900 over 17,000 cars of citrus fruit were shipped from the State, the value of which exceeded $8,000,000. The production of prunes is greatest in the Middle Coast counties. The State produces about half of the total crop of the United States, and has outstripped even France. The production of apples, peaches, pears, and cherries is also enormous, but the output for each of those is at least equaled by other States. Berries grow luxuriantly, and in the southern part of the State strawberries are gathered almost throughout the year. The success attending the production of apricots, almonds, olives, figs, and walnuts is of especial interest, inasmuch as the experimental stage has now been passed, and they have come to occupy an accepted place among the staple products of the State. Almonds are grown principally in the central part of the State; olives and walnuts in the southern part; while figs and apricots have a more general distribution. A large number of other tropical or semi-tropical fruits and nuts are now being successfully introduced. Vegetables are raised in great abundance, being shipped abroad. The conditions are especially favorable for the sugar-beet, the State ranking with Michigan in the production of that plant. The following table shows the development of the fruit industry for the last decade:
General Summary and Comparative Table of Shipments by Rail and by Sea,
of Fruits, Wine, Brandy, and Vegetables (Tons of 2,000 Pounds)
|Total Fruit by rail and sea, carloads.||16,195.7||20,800.3||31,274.4||29,026.7||43,288.0|||
|Carloads Wine and Brandy by rail and sea||||4,832.5||7,663.5||7,609.0||9,014.0|||
|Total Fruit, Vegetables, Wine and Brandy|
|by rail and sea, carloads||16,195.7||25,632.8||43,624.7||38,254.0||56,149.6|||
Thus it will be seen that the horticultural development in California has been rapid and continuous. For certain products, however, further immediate extension seems improbable, as the supply now equals the demand. Such products as can find a foreign market may and do continue to develop.
Stock-Raising. The equable climate greatly favors stock-raising. By shifting the stock from the foothills in the summer to the valleys in the winter, pasturage is afforded for the greater part of the year. The increased production of alfalfa has greatly advanced stock-raising. The State was formerly one of the foremost sheep and wool producers, but for twenty-five years the number of sheep has constantly decreased, and at the close of the Nineteenth Century was less than one-half its former size, being about 2,000,000. Large numbers of cattle are shipped into the State from Arizona to be fattened for market. Dairying has but little developed. The general breed of horses is not of a high grade, but there are a number of large horse-raising farms which are noted for their superior breeds, and their trotters, especially, are in great demand in the eastern markets. Ostrich farming is limited to a few ranches.
Manufactures. California has been subject to a variety of conditions, the effect of which has been to guarantee a steady development of the manufacturing industry, but within very definitely restricted limits. The State's comparative isolation and remoteness from other centres of population, and the heavy freight charges necessarily incurred in transportation to and from the State, have given a field free from competition. At the same time, these very conditions have denied entrance into the more extensive market of the world, except with those manufactures for the production of which the State's superior resources give a decided advantage. California is further held back by the high price of labor and the scarcity and consequently high price of fuel. Moreover, the superior advantages offered in mining and agriculture have tended to divert capital from manufacturing. Nevertheless, the value of manufactured products has reached a high figure, being exceeded in but few States. The exceptional resources of field and forest account chiefly for this; but the relation of the State to Hawaii has given rise to a large sugar-refining industry, while mining has created a demand for quantities of machinery and explosive materials.
Comparative Summary of Fourteen Leading Industries
|Total for selected industries for State||1900||2,184||37,068||$131,246,019|
|Increase, 1890 to 1900||......||644||9,532||28,872,786|
|Per cent. of increase||......||41.8||34.6||28.2|
|Per cent. of total of all industries in State||1900||17.4||40.7||43.3|
|Cars and general shop construction and||1900||29||4,920||7,553,626|
|repairs by steam railroad companies||1890||10||2,858||4,923,071|
|Lumber and timber products||1900||313||5,806||13,764,647|
|Lumber, planing-mill products,||1900||136||2,022||4,807,690|
|including sash, doors and blinds.||1890||120||2,127||4,941,466|
|Printing and publishing, newspapers||1900||512||2,683||6,858,192|
|Foundry and machine-shop products||1900||250||4,782||12,047,149|
|Clothing, men's, factory product||1900||96||2,410||3,869,891|
|Fruits and vegetables, canning||1900||136||7,486||13,081,829|
|Flouring and grist mill products||1900||124||857||13,100,944|
|Cheese, butter, and condensed milk,||1900||178||402||3,582,942|
|Sugar and molasses, refining||1900||6||919||15,909,998|
|Leather, tanned, curried, and finished||1900||45||1,454||7,405,981|
The total value of manufactured products
increased from $66,000,000 in 1870 to $213,000,000
in 1890 and $302,000,000 in 1900. In the latter
year there were over 71,000 men, 17,000 women,
and 2000 children under 10 years of age
employed in manufacturing, constituting in all 6.1
per cent. of the population. Of the fourteen
leading branches of manufacture, five were
dependent upon agriculture or horticulture. As a
wheat-growing State, California early became an
important flour-producer, shipping considerable
quantities to China and other foreign countries;
but with the change of interest from wheat to
fruit, the production of flour has slightly
as will be seen from the table
The canning and preserving of fruit has now
become of equal importance, having almost
doubled its value during the decade, and placing
California first among the fruit-producing
States. In the above, some vegetables are also
included, such as tomatoes and peas. The
manufacture of liquors, also dependent upon agriculture,
is developing at an almost equally rapid
rate. The high grade of grapes grown has given
rise to the manufacture of wines, whose output
now exceeds the total of all the other States,
being estimated at $3,900,000. But the malt
liquors are as yet of greater value, being
estimated at over $5,000,000, the large supply of
grain and hops giving a special advantage to
this industry. Slaughtering is another thriving
industry, especially the branch of it which
is concerned with meat-packing, this having
increased in value from $2,400,000 to $8,200,000.
The production of factory butter, etc., although
having practically begun during the decade, has
already become important. The State ranks
second in the production of beet-sugar, the product
for 1900 being valued at $3,500,000.
Besides this, San Francisco, being the nearest port of entry, secures raw sugar from Hawaii for
refining. The total value of the amount refined
in 1900 was estimated at $15,900,000. Hides
were formerly exported, but are now manufactured
into leather within the State, and this
industry has grown until the local supply of
hides no longer equals the demand. The
manufacturing interests originally developed in
response to the demands of local mining concerns
are now beginning to enter other markets.
Ship-building is also developing. The United States
battleship Oregon was constructed by a
California establishment. Over two-fifths of the
total product of manufactures was accredited to
San Francisco; but the city had no gain during
the decade. Los Angeles was the only large city
that enjoyed any considerable increase, the product
of that city more than doubling in value.
This was partially due to the recent discovery
of petroleum there, and the use of it as fuel.
The foregoing table is a summary for the fourteen
most important manufacturing industries in the
Lumbering. California, like the other Pacific Coast States, has a remarkable wealth of forest resources; but remoteness from the market and the difficulties of transportation have delayed their exploitation. From the above table it will be seen, however, that lumbering is enjoying a steady growth. The industry centres in the Humboldt Bay region, on the Pacific Coast, but also extends along the western slope of the Sierras as far south as Fresno County. From the immense redwoods of the Pacific Slope, large quantities of lumber and shingles are manufactured, while the equally large firs are used for the building of houses and ships. Among other valuable varieties are the cedar, adaptable for finishing work and furniture; the chestnut oak, used for tanning; and the yellow pine, valuable for lumber and for the production of resin and turpentine. The deciduous trees are not great in variety, nor of much industrial value.
Transportation and Commerce. The long coast line has few excellent harbors, and the inland navigation is not extensive, being confined principally to the Sacramento River, which is navigable for small vessels as far as Red Bluff, and the Colorado, which is navigable through its entire course along the borders of the State.
Railway facilities are well developed, particularly in the great central valley. Only in the northeastern portion of the State is commercial progress seriously retarded by a lack of transportation accommodations. Two important transcontinental lines—the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fé Pacific—enter the State from the south, while a third transcontinental line—the Central Pacific—enters it a little north of the centre, San Francisco being the terminal point of all. On the Central Pacific are 33 miles of wooden galleries, known as ‘snow-sheds,’ and costing from $40,000 to $1,100,000 per mile, according to the amount of masonry needed. The San Francisco and Northern Pacific makes connection with the railway systems to the north. In 1860 the State had 23 miles of railroad, which had increased in 1880 to 2195 miles, in 1890 to 4349 miles, and in 1900 to 5750 miles. There are 0.27 mile of line per 100 square miles of land territory, and 38.72 miles per 10,000 inhabitants.
Commerce centres mainly at San Francisco, over two-thirds of all the merchandise imported to the Pacific Coast entering, and considerably over half the exports leaving, by that port. The great lumber trade of the Pacific Coast finds its chief market in that city. The other customs districts are Wilmington, San Diego, and Humboldt. There are lines of steamers to Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon, etc., and to New York, Great Britain, Hawaii, China, Japan, Australia, and South America. Its position on the Pacific Ocean gives the State an advantage in the trade with Oriental countries, which is becoming of increasing value, and contains possibilities whose full import can hardly be appreciated at present. The construction of the Isthmian canal will also be greatly to the advantage of the State, especially in its trade with European countries. The cargoes to Europe consist mainly of wheat, canned fish and fruits, honey, borax, and ores; to Asia and the islands of the Pacific, of large quantities of butter and cheese, canned and cured meat and fish; to Mexico and China, of quicksilver. Shipments across the continent include fruits (fresh, canned, and dried), cattle products, and honey. In 1900 the value of imports of merchandise to the California ports aggregated $49,000,000, and the imports of gold and silver $13,000,000, while the exports of merchandise and bullion were $41,000,000 and $9,500,000 respectively.
Banking. In 1900 there were 39 national banks in operation, with capital aggregating $11,000,000, deposits $13,000,000, and reserve fund $4,132,000. There were 178 State banks, with $26,980,000 capital stock, $85,880,000 deposits, and $20,580,000 surplus. The private banks numbered 19, having $890,000 capital and $1,629,000 deposits. There were also 53 savings banks, with $7,650,000 capital stock, $158,000,000 deposits, and $6,900,000 surplus. The average deposit in savings banks was $730, or over 30 per cent. more than in any other State.
Government. The present Constitution was ratified by popular vote and became operative in 1879. A proposed amendment must have a two-thirds vote of each House, and be approved by a vote of the State electors. A proposition to revise the Constitution must likewise receive a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and the approval of the people, and the text drawn up in the resulting Constitutional Convention must also be submitted to the people for their approval.
Males who have lived one year in the State, ninety days in the county, and thirty days in the voting precinct, and have not been convicted of infamous crimes, embezzlement, or misappropriation of public money, and can read the Constitution or write their own names have the right of suffrage; but Chinese are excluded.
Legislature.—Senators (40) hold office for four years, Assemblymen (80) for two years. The Legislature meets in biennial sessions, on the first Monday of January of even years, and the pay of the members ($8 per day and 10 cents mileage) is limited to sixty days. The Governor may convene extra sessions, but the power to legislate at these is restricted to the specified subject. The House impeaches, while the Senate acts as a court of impeachment.
Executive.—The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney-General, and Surveyor-General are each elected for a term of four years. A two-thirds vote of each House overcomes the Governor's veto. Money appropriation bills may be vetoed in part. In case of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor takes his place, and in turn is succeeded by the president pro tempore of the Senate. The Governor grants reprieves, pardons, and commutations of sentence.
Judicial.—The Supreme Court, the members of which are elected for a term of twelve years, consists of a Chief Justice and six associates, and is divided into two departments, which may sit separately or as one court. Each county has a Superior Court, whose members are elected for a term of six years. Inferior courts are established by the Legislature. No judge of Supreme or Superior Court can receive his salary unless he swears that no case in his court submitted ninety days previous remains unattended to.
Local Government.—There is a uniform system of county governments, and general laws are enacted for the organization of townships. Laws affecting municipal corporations must be general laws, applying to classes of municipalities made upon the basis of population. A city containing a population of more than 3500 may frame a charter for its own government, which, after being approved by the electors of the city, is submitted to the Legislature for its approval or rejection as a whole.
Other Constitutional and Statutory Provisions.—No corporation formed under the laws of the State can employ, directly or indirectly, any Chinese or Mongolian, and contracts for coolie labor are void. Appropriations to sectarian schools are prohibited. The legal rate of interest is 7 per cent., but any rate is allowed by contract. Women may enter upon or pursue any lawful business, vocation, or profession, and the property of married women belongs to them alone.
Sacramento is the capital. The State has eight Representatives in the Lower House of the national Congress.
Finances.—The cash receipts of the State for the fiscal year ending June, 1900, amounted to $11,147,000, the cash payments to $9,549,000, and the balance in the treasury to $5,020,000. The State debt on the same date was $2,460,000, of which amount $2,277,000 was held in trust for the State school and university funds.
Penal and Charitable Institutions.—The penal institutions are the prisons at Folsom and San Quentin, the State Reform School at Whittier (which is conducted on the cottage plan, and where farming and various trades are taught), and the Preston School of Industry at Ione City. The charitable institutions include the insane asylums at Napa, Stockton, Agnew, and Ukiah, all of which are under the control of a State Lunacy Commission; the Home for Feeble-minded Children at Glen Ellen; and the Institution for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind at Berkeley. There are also nineteen orphan asylums receiving State aid and inspection.
Militia.—According to the United States official Army Register for 1901, the total strength of the State militia is as follows: General officers, 4; general staff officers, 44; regimental field and staff officers, 33; company officers, 144; rank and file, 3059; aggregate, 3304. The force is organized into one division of three brigades and seven regiments. There were in 1900 378,000 males of militia age, 212,000 of whom were liable for duty.
Education. California ranks among the progressive States in its educational policy. The educational system is wide in scope and thorough in administration, and the length of the school year (165 days) is exceeded in only one or two States west of the Alleghanies. The State has succeeded better than most States in dealing with the rural school problem, but still suffers from an undue multiplication of small rural districts. The compulsory school law is not generally enforced. Of 361,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17, in 1900, 266,700 were enrolled in the public schools and 23,300 in private schools. The kindergarten grades enrolled 4400; the primary gr.ides, 170,000; the grammar grades, 82,000; and the 120 high schools, 12,100. Of the teachers of primary and grammar grades, 1100 were males and 6000 females. The average of the salaries paid to male teachers is $81 per month, and to females, $65.50, being much higher than the average for the Western States. The average annual expenditure for primary and grammar grades per child of school age is about $17. About one-half of this is provided for by State apportionments, about one-third by county apportionments, and the remainder by city or district taxes and other sources.
There are five normal schools. The State University at Berkeley, an outgrowth of the State College (chartered in 1855), has a liberal endowment. Its schools of law, medicine, etc., are in San Francisco. Lick Observatory (q.v.) is also connected with it. Leland Stanford junior University, at Palo Alto, is one of the most heavily endowed educational institutions in the world. Both of the foregoing institutions are coeducational, and in rank take their place with the foremost institutions of the country. Other colleges are: The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with its school of agriculture at Ontario and theological school at San Fernando; the Roman Catholic colleges at San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Santa Clara; the Pacific Methodist, at Santa Rosa; California College, at Oakland; Pomona College, at Claremont; and the University of the Pacific at San José. The Cogswell Polytechnic College, at San Francisco, is maintained by the city. There are theological schools at Oakland, San José, and San Rafael; art schools at San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento. The California Academy of Sciences, founded in 1853, and endowed by James Lick (q.v.), is at San Francisco.
Religion. From an early date the Roman Catholics have been very active in missionary work. Nearly all the Spanish element of the population, and a large part of the Indian population, are members of that Church, making it numerically the strongest religious denomination. The Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists follow, in the order named, and the other leading denominations are represented. Even with the large Catholic element, but 23 per cent. of the population are church communicants.
Population. California is the most populous of the Western States, and ranks twenty-first in population among the States of the Union. The following is the population by decades: 1850, 92,000; 1860, 379,900: 1870, 560,200; 1880, 864,700; 1890, 1,208,100; 1900, 1,485,000. (For population by counties, see table on back of the map.) The per cent. of increase for the last decade (22.9) was greater than that for the whole country. Of fifty-seven counties, all but eleven increased in population. About one-fourth of the population of the State is foreign born, the Irish, Germans, and English, in the order named, being most numerous. The State has a Mongolian population about equal to that of the rest of the United States, the Chinese numbering 45,700 and the Japanese 10,150. The former have greatly decreased in numbers, and the latter increased, during the last decade. Fifty-five per cent. of the population are males, the large predominance of this sex among the Mongolians being partly responsible for this result. The Indians number 15,300, and the negroes 11,000. Most of the Indians are taxed, and have made considerable progress in civilized life. The most decided increase during the decade was on the part of the natives born of foreign parents, this class exceeding 21 per cent. of the total population.
There are 9.5 individuals to the square mile, and a decided tendency is manifested to segregate in cities. There are twenty-four places having a population above 4000, their inhabitants constituting 48.9 per cent. of the total population, though in seven States the percentage is higher. The following are the leading cities: San Francisco, 342,700; Los Angeles, 102,400; Oakland City, 66,900; Sacramento, 29,200; San José, 21,500; San Diego, 17,700; Stockton, 17,500; Alameda, 13,400; Berkeley, 13,200; Fresno, 12,400.
Indians.—The Indians in 1900 numbered 7654, who were located on twenty-six reservations—namely, Hupa Valley, Round Valley, Tule River, Yuma, and twenty-two mission reservations. They are from a large number of tribes, and represent at least fourteen different linguistic stocks. At least one-half of them can speak enough English to carry on ordinary conversation, and the greater number wear citizens' clothing. They are, as a rule, self-supporting, rations being issued only to the old and infirm. In some of the reservations, not only stock-raising, but farming and fruit-growing, have attained a considerable development. The Indians of the Yuma Reservation are the most primitive in the State, living principally upon fish and the mesquit-bean, which abound on the reservation.
History. The name California first appears in a Spanish romance, published in 1510, as that of an island lying somewhere in the western sea near the equator. The term was originally applied to what is now Lower California, which was visited by the Spanish as early as 1533. Later the name was extended to the whole western coast of North America below the parallel of 42°, and the distinction of Upper and Lower California was introduced. The first exploration within the limits of the State was done in 1542 and 1543, when Cabrillo visited the coast and islands of the Santa Barbara region. In 1579 Sir Francis Drake sailed as far as the forty-third degree of latitude, and named the country New Albion, but did not, as is generally supposed, enter the Bay of San Francisco. In 1602 and 1603 Vizcaino explored the bays of San Diego and Monterey, and sailed as far north as Point Reyes. The Spanish attempted to civilize the country by the establishment of missions along the coast. In 1769 the first mission in California proper was erected at San Diego by the Franciscans, and by 1823, when the last and most northerly station had been planted at Sonoma, these religious houses had grown to 21 in number, and acquired great wealth in olive, orange, and grape plantations, and cattle and horse ranches. The Indians were early converted to Christianity, gradually weaned from their nomadic and barbaric state, and induced to lead a settled life. They were taught farming and other civilized pursuits and became in time a peaceful and industrious people. The Spanish Government, which intended eventually to turn the mission estates into administrative districts, never acknowledged the title of the priests to the land, and in 1777 began the founding of pueblos or towns. Upper California was divided into the four provinces of San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and San Francisco. After the Mexican Revolution of 1821, the missions began to decline. The Indians were partly emancipated in 1826, and the process of secularization, which began in 1833, was completed by 1845. Commerce with foreign nations, which was at first forbidden, became very large after 1822. In 1826 the first American immigrant wagon train entered California. In 1840 Monterey was made the capital, and a year later the Russians, who had maintained a trading-post north of Bodega Bay since 1812, abandoned it.
Under the Mexican Republic California enjoyed virtual autonomy, and after 1840 its independence was seen to be inevitable. A silent conflict arose between those who favored ultimate annexation to the United States and the large class of property-owners who were inclined to favor the establishment of a British protectorate. In the southern part of the State, Larkin, the United States consul, was secretly endeavoring to stir up a revolt against Mexico and to bring about the extension of the jurisdiction of the United States over the country. But before his schemes had attained full maturity, a rising of the American settlers in northern California took place. On June 14, 1846, a small party of Americans, aided by John C. Frémont, who was then in California at the head of an exploring expedition, seized the town of Sonoma, raised the Bear Flag, and on the fourth of July proclaimed the independence of California. Commodore Sloat, acting under orders from the United States Government, which was then preparing to go to war with Mexico, seized Monterey and Yerba Buena (San Francisco), and the conquest of the country was completed by Commodore Stockton. Colonel Frémont, and General Kearney. On August 15, 1846, California was declared a Territory of the United States.
The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, near Coloma, on January 24, 1848, gave an impetus to immigration from all parts of the globe. The great body of gold-seekers, ‘the Argonauts,’ arrived in 1849, and by the end of the year the population exceeded 100,000. Nearly all the newcomers were unmarried men, in haste to get rich. Hence the organization of an authoritative body, responsible for public order, was neglected or hindered by the influx of lawless characters. There ensued reckless speculation, extravagant living, and easy-going morality in many localities. Stable elements, however, were not wanting—the mining camps had stringent laws of their own, and lynch law was resorted to in many quarters. Life and property, however, were not well secured. The people were heavily taxed without representation, and though San Francisco had been made a port of entry and United States customs laws had been extended over the country, no Territorial government had been granted. On November 13, 1849, after several unsuccessful attempts at State-making, a constitution, in which slavery was prohibited, was adopted by the people, and on September 9, 1850, California entered the Union. (For national events connected with the State's admission, see United States, and Compromise Measures.) In 1851 the citizens of San Francisco formed a vigilance committee to check lawlessness in that city. The committee tried offenders, banished and hanged at its discretion, and performed its duties so efficiently that in 1856 it was reorganized to meet a new outburst of public disorder and official corruption. When the Civil War broke out, California, which was thought to be contemplating secession, was exempted from furnishing troops. The Union party, however, was dominant, and contributed nearly $1,500,000 to the Federal Government, and sent five companies of volunteers into the field.
Since the Civil War California has experienced a magnificent economic development. The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad furthered the prosperity of the State. Both from the Eastern States and from across the Pacific the tide of immigration flowed in steadily. So considerable, indeed, did the number of Chinese immigrants become that between 1870 and 1890 the Chinese question dominated State politics and influenced national legislation. In the mining districts the Chinese occupied claims which had been abandoned as exhausted by their original proprietors, or acted as cooks and menial servants. In the towns they performed various duties. Their stolid patience and their capacity for long and sustained work made them in one way ideal laborers for the development of a new country; but their extreme frugality and their willingness to work for a small wage made them formidable competitors of white labor. (See Chinese Immigration.) In 1878 and 1879 Dennis Kearney (q.v.), a gifted agitator, taking advantage of the discontent prevailing among the lower classes of San Francisco, owing chiefly to the question of Chinese immigration, organized the Workingmen's Party, which for a short time controlled State politics and brought into being the present Constitution of California, with its many radical features. The conflict between the mining and agricultural interests over the utilization of the natural water-power of the State was removed in a great measure by prolonged and elaborate legislation on the subjects of mineral debris and drainage. In 1887 a comprehensive system of irrigation was begun, which has yielded great results. The California International Midwinter Exposition, held at San Francisco in 1894, served to illustrate the progress and prosperity of the State. Before 1860 California was Democratic in national politics. Since that date it has been Republican, with the exception of the years 1880 and 1892. In State elections California has changed from Democratic to Republican repeatedly on local issues. The trend and change of politics in California may be gathered from the following list of Governors of the State:
|MILITARY AND PROVISIONAL GOVERNORS.|
|Col. Robert F. Stockton||1846-47|
|Col. John C. Frémont||1847|
|Gen. S. W. Kearney||1847|
|Col. R. B. Mason||1847-49|
|Gen. Persifer F. Smith||1849|
|Gen. Bennet Riley||1849|
|Peter H. Burnett||Democrat||1849-51|
|J. N. Johnson||Know-Nothing||1856-58|
|John B. Weller||Democrat||1858-60|
|Milton S. Latham||“||1860|
|John G. Downey||“||1860-61|
|Frederick F. Low||“||1863-68|
|Henry H. Haight||Democrat||1868-72|
|George C. Perkins||Republican||1879-83|
|R. W. Waterman||Republican||1887-91|
|H. H. Markham||“||1891-94|
|J. H. Budd||Democrat||1895-99|
|Henry T. Gage||Republican||1899-1903|
Bibliography. Bancroft, History of the Pacific States of North America, Vols. XIII.-XIX., XXIX., XXX. (San Francisco, 1884-90); Cronise, The Natural Wealth of California (San Francisco, 1868); California as It Is (San Francisco, 1888); Muir, The Mountains of California (New York, 1894); Foster, The Gold Regions of California and also a Geographical, Topographical, and Historical View of the Country (New York, 1848); Gold Mines and Mining in California (San Francisco, 1885); Hittell, History of California, 4 vols. (San Francisco, 1885); Burnett, Recollections and Opinions of an Old Pioneer (New York, 1880); Van Dyke, Southern California (New York, 1886); Hanson, The American Italy (Chicago, 1896); Seward, The Chinese Immigration in its Social and Economic Aspects (Chicago, 1881); Vogdes, A Bibliography relating to the Geology, Palæontology, and Mineral Resources of California, with an additional list of miscellaneous publications on the country (Sacramento, 1896).