San Francisco History

Mark Twain in San Francisco

The following news articles by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) were printed in the San Francisco Daily Morning Call between June and October 1864.

The following excerpts are used by gracious permission of Barbara Schmidt of Take a look at her site for more material from Mark Twain from all over the world.

Attempted Assassination Of A Detective Officer

Officer Rose, one of the coolest, shrewdest members of the detective force, was dispatched to Belmont, on the San Jose Railroad, by Chief Burke, on Friday morning, to arrest a suspected criminal named James Charles Mortimer, reported to be in hiding there; he was to find satisfactory proofs of the man's guilt, first, and then make the arrest; (his crime is to be kept a secret, as yet.) Arrived at Belmont, Rose got the proofs that he wanted, from a woman with whom Mortimer had been living, and from her he also obtained a clue of his hiding place, and captured his man. He then went to Santa Clara with his prisoner, in search of further evidence, and the two repaired to a secluded spot a mile and a half from the town, at nine o'clock on Friday night, to get some stolen property which Mortimer said he had buried there. The prisoner watched his opportunity while the officer's back was turned for a moment, or while he was digging for the hidden treasure, and knocked him down by striking him in the back of the head with a stone; he then took the officer's knife from his pocket and cut his throat with it, severing the windpipe half in two; next he thrust the blade into his throat and twisted it round; then, to make the murder sure, he took Rose's revolver and struck him across the forehead with it, inflicting a ghastly wound. Considering his victim finished by this time, he returned to Santa Clara, rifled the officer's valise, paid for a check through to San Francisco on the freight train, but jumped off the cars near Belmont Station, while they were running slowly, and has not since been heard of. Rose lay insensible for some time, but woke up at last, stunned and confused by the blows he had received, and feeble from his loss of blood, and in this condition he crawled a long distance, and finally reached the house of a Mr. Trenneth, about midnight, where he was properly cared for, and from whence he was removed to Santa Clara yesterday. It was at first supposed he could not survive his injuries, but he grew better rapidly and constantly, and now no fears are entertained that he will die. A man of his nerve and resolution requires more than one fatal wound to kill him. He was brought home to the city on the evening train yesterday. This man Mortimer (he has a dozen aliases,) half murdered a man named Conrad Pfister, in Dupont street, one night, and robbed him of nearly a thousand dollars, and for this highway robbery and attempted assassination our lenient Court of Assizes, as usual, only gave him a year in the State Prison. For the same offence, in the interior of the State, he would have gotten years at least, and been considered a favorite of Fortune at that. But you seldom find a longer sentence than one or two years on our Assize records. Mortimer is one of the worst men known to the Police. He paid his fare to San Mateo, in the morning train, about six weeks ago and then tried to slip by and go on to Belmont, but was detected by Mr. Nolan, the conductor, who put him ashore, and had a rough time accomplishing it. Mortimer swore he would remember the treatment he had received, and kill Nolan for it the first opportunity he got. Charles James Mortimer's photograph is No. 64 in the Rogue's Gallery at the office of the Chief of Police, and the countenance is not a prepossessing one. Accompanying the picture is this description of him, written some time ago: "Native of Maine; occupation, farmer; age, 23 years and 6 months; height, 5 feet 6 inches; weight, 160 pounds; hair, light; eyes, blue; complexion, light; full face, red cheeks, good looking; has a crucifix, with lighted candles, three pierced with arrows, on his right forearm, printed in red and black ink, and on his left arm the letters C. J. M.; also, on one arm, the name of Flinn." Captain Lees, and a posse of Policemen, were sent down to Belmont by special train, yesterday, and have scattered in different directions in search of the missing criminal. He will be captured, if it takes the department ten years to accomplish it.

Since the above was in type, Mr. Rose has made the following statement: He was walking along with Mortimer, half way between San Jose and Santa Clara, on the way to the buried property, when the prisoner suddenly jumped to one side, seized a stone and knocked him down with it, as above stated, and stabbed him in the neck, swearing he would "finish" him. Thinking him "finished," he went away, but returned in the course of ten minutes, to satisfy himself. Standing behind Rose, as he lay on the ground, he exclaimed, in a disguised voice, "Hallo, my friend, what are you doing there? Anything the matter? If you're ailing, my farm-house is close by." The stratagem was successful; Rose was deceived, and raised his head, when the fellow remarked, "Oh, so you're not dead yet! I was afraid so; you've hunted me out, my man, and you can't live" - and he drew Rose's revolver and struck him three powerful blows, two back of the left ear, one on top of the head, and several about the forehead. Before taking his final farewell of his victim, Mortimer robbed him of his knife, revolver, and forty dollars in money. Chief Burke wishes us to extend his warmest thanks to the citizens living near the scene of the outrage, for the assistance rendered by them to Officer Rose, and especially to the members of Mr. Trenneth's family, who sat up with the wounded man all night, and did everything they could for his relief, and furnished him with blankets and bedding to use during his transportation on the cars; also, to Conductor Nolan and other officers of the Railroad, for their kindness in making every arrangement in their power for Mr. Rose's comfort, on his passage to the city. Rose was doing only tolerably well at last accounts, and was flighty at intervals.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 11 September 1864.

Sad Accident - Death Of Jerome Rice

On Wednesday evening last, while Jerome Rice, the well-known auctioneer, of this city, and Rowland B. Gardner, one of his clerks, were on their way to the Warm Springs, near Santa Clara, they lost their way in the hills north of Vallejo Mills, and the night being somewhat dark, they drove over an embankment twenty feet high. Mr. Rice fell upon his head, and the force of the concussion crushed in the base of his skull and fractured his collar bone, a fragment of which pierced one of his lungs. Mr. Gardner's left thigh was broken, and his body considerably bruised. Mr. Rice groaned in pain and muttered incoherent words at intervals, but was never conscious up to the hour of his death, which occurred at two o'clock yesterday morning, nearly three days and a half after the accident. All Wednesday night, and all Thursday and Thursday night, through the blistering sun, and the cold, benumbing air of evening, the two men lay side by side and suffered inconceivable tortures from hunger and burning thirst and the sharp pain of their stiffening wounds; and Gardner spent the lonely hours in calling for the help that never came, for himself and his insensible companion, until he could no longer speak for hoarseness and exhaustion. Think of the raging fires in a throat subjected to such exercise as this, when no water had moistened it for a day and two nights! On Friday morning Mr. Gardner began his terrible journey in search of assistance, and for two days and nights, without food or water, he crawled backwards, by the aid of his hands, in a half sitting, half reclining posture, and dragging his broken leg. Every movement must have caused him exquisite agony; the anguish of such a march cannot even be imagined. And the distance accomplished in those forty-eight hours of suffering was only half a mile. On Sunday morning he reached the vicinity of a field and attracted the attention of a man at work in it, and the two unfortunate men were soon conveyed to a neighboring house, and kindly cared for. When they went after Mr. Rice, one of the carriage horses had long since wandered away; but "Roanoke," an old favorite and the property of Mr. Rice, was found keeping faithful watch over his prostrate master, and gazing upon his face. The noble brute had never deserted his post for three days and a half - hunger and thirst had failed to drive him from his allegiance. If at any time, during the two days his comrade was absent from his side, the unfortunate man awoke from his delirium and realized that he was desolate and alone, and far from human help, it must have been some relief to his tortured mind, in that fleeting moment of consciousness - some balm to his aching wounds, some sense of friendly companionship to him in his loneliness - to see the eyes of his faithful horse looking down into his own, in mute sympathy for his distress. Mr. Rice's head, face and body were swollen in an extraordinary degree, and blackened and blistered by the fervent heat of the sun. After lingering in misery for so many hours, death at last put an end to his sufferings at two o'clock yesterday morning. His wife and family, who have been enduring for four years all the privations and misfortunes that war could entail upon them in a section of Texas desolated alternately by both contending parties, and whom he had not seen and scarcely ever heard from during that time, will arrive here from Boston, (to which port they lately escaped,) day after to-morrow, on the steamer Golden City. After the long separation and the hardships that have fallen to their life, it is cruel now to dash down the cup of happiness when it had almost touched their very lips. Who, among all the brave men that shall read this sad chapter of disasters, could carry, with firm nerve, the bitter tidings to the unsuspecting widow and her orphans, and uncoffin before them a mutilated corpse in place of the loving husband and father they are yearning to embrace? Mr. Gardner is at Centreville, under medical treatment, but the remains of Mr. Rice will be brought to the city and kept until the arrival of the steamer, so that the stricken family may have the sad consolation of looking upon them before they are consigned to the grave.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 13 September 1864.

The Camanche

The work at the Camanche goes vigorously on, and is being rapidly pushed towards completion. The scattering holes that were left in the bottom of the hull when the bulk of the riveting was done, have now all been reached by moving shores and supporting timbers. The outside tier of timbers running fore and aft, which is to receive the armor, is now put on from the bow back a distance of some forty or fifty feet on each side, and begins to give one a tolerable idea of her great strength and power of resisting the shots of an enemy. Much progress has also been made in the last few days in placing the machinery of the engine, and for turning the turret. The thorough manner in which all the work connected with the Camanche is done must be apparent to anyone who makes frequent visits to it. The vigilant eyes of Mr. Ryan, one of the contractors, who is also the superintendent of the work, are everywhere and see everything. The foremen of the different divisions of the work are indefatigable in their efforts to have the labor performed in the most perfect manner. The receipts at the gates, for the Sanitary Fund, for the week ending Saturday, will reach nearly five hundred dollars. A large number of our citizens visited the Camanche on Sunday.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 13 September 1864.

An Ingenious Contrivance

There is nothing in the Mechanics' Fair more ingenious or pleasanter to look at than the Skating Pond, and neither is there anything about the Pavilion which is half so hard to find, unless it be the wretched school-boy who stealthily rings Dexter's excellent but distracting door gong, and then melts suddenly away under the neighboring billiard tables, and is seen no more in life. But the Skating Pond is really easy to find when you have intelligent directions by which to guide yourself. From the main entrance, you go straight to the floral tower, and glance off at an angle of forty-five degrees to the left and forwards; preserve the direction thus secured until you reach the wall of the building, and your object is attained. The Skating Pond sits on a table in a neat parlor, and if you would have one like it, you should line the inside of a wash-tub with mirrors, have the bottom peopled with male and female dolls in skating attitude, and arrange it so that it will turn around rapidly; you will observe that the little figures will be multiplied in the mirrors into countless multitudes of hurrying and skurrying skaters, growing smaller and smaller and more and more crowded together, as far as the eye can reach into the limitless distance; and if your dolls are dressed in as perfect good taste, and appropriate colors, and are arranged in as faultless skating postures as are these of which we are speaking, you cannot fail to be delighted with the liveliness, the unlimited variety and the magnificence of the scene, and if you are anything of a skater yourself, you must infallibly become inoculated with the dash and spirit and rushing excitement of it. Put your eyes down to the rim of the tub (this one is handsome enough for a drawing room,) and look far away into the mirrors, and you may see thousands and thousands of men and women swiftly passing and repassing each other, over a stretching sea of ice that apparently has no more limit than space itself. It is a beautiful work of art, and the more one looks at it the more he is pleased with it. Mrs. Nathaniel Holland, the lady who has charge of it, invented and constructed it herself, and the best artists in the city say that the grouping of her miniature figures, and the gracefulness and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.

- Letter to D. W. Bowser, 3/20/1880

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 15 September 1864.

County Hospital Developments

They do say that when rogues fall out, honest men get their dues. Messrs. Vogel and Isaacs, of the County Hospital, have fallen out. The seeming insinuation in the remark is the fruit solely of unworthy suspicion in the prejudiced mind of the reader. Isadore Isaacs, who for years has had the lucrative job of repairing all the windows that chanced to get broken in the Hospital, a day or two ago procured the arrest of Vogel, an employee of his, for using improper language to Mrs. Isaacs. Vogel said at the time, that if the charge against him was prosecuted, he would retaliate upon Isaacs and others connected with the Hospital by throwing open to the public gaze such a three years' history of corruption and swindling in that institution as would set San Francisco dizzy with amazement. To make his threat good, he went yesterday to Officer Lindheimer and Detective Officer Watkin, and complained that for the past three years his boss, Isaacs, had been in the constant habit of charging in his bills against the County, double and treble the amount of glass actually put into the Hospital windows by him, and that he did it with the Resident Physician, Dr. Raymond's, connivance and consent, and that when the Doctor heard of Vogel's threatened expose he offered him twenty dollars to keep quiet. Vogel says that whenever Isaacs put in ten panes of glass, he always charged the City for thirty; for thirty panes, he charged seventy five, or such a matter, in his bills, and so on and so forth; thus managing, by naturally quick talents and close attention to business, to make a good thing out of an unpromising contract, with no capital save a gift in the way of slinging a multiplication table which amounted almost to inspiration. Mr. Vogel says he will prove that in three years the officers of the Hospital paid Isaacs thirteen hundred dollars for repaired windows, but he does not know how much the City and County paid to those officers in the same time for the same work - a remark of Mr. Vogel's which savors of an insinuation. According to a judgment of men and their manners under circumstances where crime and their direct or indirect implication in it is concerned, sharpened by his long experience as a detective, Officer Watkin is satisfied that Vogel knows a vast deal about the hidden mysteries of the conduct of the Hospital, but he seems in doubt about the policy of unveiling them all in a heap. Upon the complaint made by Vogel, Chief Burke had Isaacs arrested, and upon the examination of the case to-day, comprehensive developments may be looked for. Considering the important nature of the case, however, Judge Shepheard should not have allowed Isaacs his liberty on fifty or sixty dollars' worth of green-backs - one hundred and fifty dollars in shinplasters. Now, how much credence is to be given to the statements of Vogel, who is smarting under a sense of injury, we are not prepared to say; but at the same time, if there are two departments of service in the Hospital that are not the subject of suspicion in the minds of taxpayers, we do not know it.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 15 September 1864.

Interesting Litigation

San Francisco beats the world for novelties; but the inventive faculties of her people are exercised on a specialty. We don't care much about creating things other countries can supply us with. We have on hand a vast quantity of a certain kind of material and we must work it up, and we do work it up often to an alarming pitch. Controversy is our forte. Californians can raise more legal questions and do the wager of combat in more ways than have been eliminated from the arcana of civil and military jurisprudence since Justinian wrote or Agamemnon fought. Suits - why we haven't names for half of them. A man has a spite at his neighbor - and what man or man's wife hasn't - and he forthwith prosecutes him in the Police Court, for having onions for breakfast, under some ordinance or statutory provision having about as much relation to the case as the title page of Webster's Dictionary. And then, there's an array of witnesses who are well posted in everything else except the matter in controversy. And indefatigable attorneys enlighten the Court by drawing from the witnesses the whole detailed history of the last century. And then again we are in doubt about some little matter of personal or public convenience, and slap goes somebody into Court under duress of a warrant. If we want to determine the age of a child who has grown out of our knowledge, we commence a prosecution at once against someone else with children, and elicit from witnesses enough chronological information to fill a whole encyclopedia, to prove that our child of a doubtful age was contemporary with the children of defendant, and thus approximate to the period of nativity sought for. A settlement of mutual accounts is arrived at by a prosecution for obtaining goods or money under false pretenses. Partnership affairs are elucidated in a prosecution for grand larceny. A burglary simply indicates that a creditor called at the house of his debtor the night before market morning, to collect a small bill. We have nothing but a civil code. A portion of our laws are criminal in name only. We have no law for crime. Cut, slosh around with pistols and dirk knives as you will, and the worst that comes of it is a petty charge of carrying concealed weapons; and murder is but an aggravated assault and battery. We go into litigation instinctively, like a young duck goes into the water. A man can't dig a shovel full of sand out of a drift that threatens to overwhelm his property, nor put a fence around his lot that some person has once driven a wagon across, but what he is dragged before some tribunal to answer to a misdemeanor. Personal revenge, or petty jealousies and animosities, or else the pursuit of information under difficulties, keep up a heavy calendar, and the Judge of the Court spends three fourths of his time listening to old women's quarrels, and tales that ought, in many cases, to consign the witnesses themselves to the prison cell, and dismissing prosecutions that are brought without probable cause, nor the shadow of it. A prosecuting people we are, and we are getting no better every day. The census of the city can almost be taken now from the Police Court calendar; and a month's attendance on that institution will give one a familiar acquaintance with more than half of our domestic establishments.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 15 September 1864.

Extraordinary Enterprise

It is said by those who ought to know, that the law against killing game only suspended operation at midnight on Wednesday, yet there were quails for breakfast at the Occidental at six o'clock the next morning. The man who brought those birds to town will wear himself out, sometime or other, in getting up at such unseasonable hours of the night to take advantage of an outgoing law. It would be wrong to suspect him of having captured the quails the day before.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 16 September 1864.

More Donations

A Chinese merchant of this city has left a superb Chinese lantern at the Mechanics' Fair, to be sold for the benefit of the Sanitary Fund, and certain young ladies are in the pleasant habit of leaving handsome bouquets on the big cheese daily, to be disposed of for the same charity. By far the most interesting curiosity of all, however, has lately been added to the collection in the Floral Tower. It is a voluminous and very musty old book, printed in London two hundred years ago, in the reign of Charles II., and is rich with the quaint language, spelling, and typography of the olden time. It is a "Chronicle" of the Kings of England, and is carried down to the year 1664, the second of Charles' reign. The chapter which gives the names of the members of the High Commission before which Charles I. was tried and condemned to death, is racy with comments upon the bad character, the ignominious pursuits, and the former social obscurity of those gentlemen, and must have occasioned great discomfort to such of them as were still living at the time of its publication. During the trial of the friendless monarch, "his staff fell to the floor, and seeing that none moved to take it up, he put forth his hand and took it up himself." The chronicler seemed to feel that no comment was needed there to show the deep humiliation into which the poor King had fallen, and he made none. At another stage of the trial, the head of the King's staff fell off, and a sense of the dreadful omen flitted across the countenances of the superstitious multitude around him. The old book contains the genealogy of the reigning monarch and that of all the nobility of England.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 16 September 1864.

Suicide Of Dr. Raymond

We gather the following facts concerning this sad event from Chief Burke: At eight o'clock yesterday morning, the daily papers, as usual, were taken to the Doctor before he had risen from bed. After the lapse of half an hour, he was found lying in an insensible condition from the effects of a heavy dose of morphine, which he had swallowed. He had been reading, apparently; the Alta, with his spectacles: lying upon it, was on the bed. Antidotes were administered, and the stomach pump applied, and he rallied enough to show by the intelligence in his eyes that he recognized the persons who stood about him, but he was speechless. In spite of all efforts to expel the poison from his system and annul its effects, he gradually sank until a few minutes past one o'clock in the afternoon, when he died. Ever since his removal from the position of Resident Physician of the County Hospital, by the Board of Supervisors, on last Monday week, Dr. Raymond had been in a state of great mental depression and unhappiness, and during the three days preceding his death he had several times expressed fears that he was going to commit suicide. He told Dr. Nuttall that he was "possessed of a suicidal devil," and gave that gentleman his knife because of a desire he felt to use it upon himself. He refused the Doctor's request that he would remain with him at his house, however. Dr. Raymond also mentioned this yearning to commit suicide to Mr. Pond, at the Hospital, and said, "Keep an eye on me." Dr. Raymond occupied the post of Resident Physician of the City and County Hospital during the past six or seven years; he came here from St. Louis, about ten years ago, and those who knew him best speak highly of his character. He was about fifty years of age.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 16 September 1864.

The Alleged Swindling

The sworn statement, before the proper officer, of Vogel, that his employer, Isaacs, had received $1,300 in three years for repairs to the windows of the County Hospital, does not tally with the Auditor's books, which show bills paid to Dr. Raymond for this purpose amounting to only $80.87. If Vogel really knows of any criminality in the management of the affairs of the Hospital, it should be wrung from him, upon Isaacs' trial, so that if any be guilty, they may be punished, and in order that if he has made false charges, suspicion may be removed from the parties wronged. If his statements are invented simply to gratify a thirst for revenge, the fact should be ferreted out and a stool of repentence provided for him in the State Prison.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 16 September 1864.

Officer Rose Recovering

Detective Officer Rose, who a few days ago was beaten and stabbed near Santa Clara, by a prisoner named Mortimer, whom he had arrested, is now entirely out of danger, and will be about the streets again shortly. We are glad it is so, for while rascality is so plenty hereabouts, the city could ill afford to lose so accomplished a detective. Officer Bovee, one of the men sent to track Mortimer through the southern country, has returned without having been able to obtain the slightest clue to his whereabouts.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 16 September 1864.

Dr. Raymond Not Removed

We are informed by a member of the Board of Supervisors that the removal of the late Dr. Raymond from the post of Resident Physician of the County Hospital, and which action so preyed upon his mind, was not valid and binding, but on the contrary was void and of no effect, because it was not recommended by the Hospital Committee, from which, according to an unrepealed resolution of the Board, all such motions for removal must emanate.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 17 September 1864.

The Late Suicide - Coroner's Inquest

An inquest was held last evening at the County Hospital, to inquire into the recent suicide of Dr. Raymond, late Resident Physician of that institution. R. G. Tobin, Esq., Justice of the First Township, officiated as Coroner. A number of witnesses were examined, who entered into a minute detail of everything that had transpired for several days previous to the death of the Doctor, having the slightest bearing on the matter, as he commission of the rash act. The testimony fully establishes the fact that the Doctor, at the time and for sometime previous, was laboring under a temporary aberration of mind. Our limited space precludes the possibility of giving more than a faithful epitome of the witnesses' statements. Dr. Holman, on the morning of the 10th, received a note informing him that Dr. Raymond was ill, and leaving a message to that effect for Dr. Nuttall, he repaired at once to the Hospital, where he found deceased insensible, and evidently under the effect of morphine. He found it impossible to arouse him. The electrogalvanic battery was applied by Dr. Gerry; an emetic of the sulphate of zinc was administered by Mr. Pond, the apothecary of the Hospital, previous to the arrival of the physician, and an injection was given. Every remedy was used that medical skill could summon, without even appearing to rally him from the comatose condition in which he was at first discovered. The only sign of sensibility seemed to have been indicated when Mr. Pond applied his mouth close to the Doctor's ear, and called him in a loud voice. Dr. R. opened his eyes for a moment, and fixed them on Mr. Pond, but did not speak. From the first the sufferer exhibited all the effects of narcotic poison or apoplexy. His features were rigid, and his jaws so firmly set that it was only with the greatest difficulty that the tube of the stomach-pump could be introduced into his stomach. In an adjoining room, on a table, was a drachm vial of morphine, partly empty, and close by it a tumbler of water with morphine dissolved in it, from which he had evidently taken the fatal draught. On the bed in which the Doctor was lying was the Morning Alta, as Dr. Gerry positively states, and by it his spectacles. The witnesses differed some in their impressions concerning the effect on the mind of deceased of certain newspaper articles of that morning. Dr. Nuttall felt sure that the rash act was hastened from having read certain articles reflecting on his character, while Dr. Gerry and Mr. Pond both agree in their impressions, from the appearance of things, that the fatal dose was taken a considerable length of time before he got the paper, and that he had not even so much as seen the article in the paper that morning, as it was lying on his bed, having the appearance of not having been unfolded. Witnesses state that there was no other paper in the room. Deceased has recently spoken of suicidal propensities that possessed him at times, and made him apprehensive that he would make an attempt at self destruction. He spoke calmly about it, and said that at times it was almost irresistible. At such times he seemed extremely dejected; told Dr. Nuttall, a day or two before his death, that his "evil genius was a suicidal devil," and gave the Doctor his knife, fearing he might attempt violence on himself with it. He placed himself under treatment of Dr. N. a short time since, for this mental disease, and after two days seemed much better. All the medical witnesses, Drs. Holman, Nuttall and Geary, agree in their belief that the suicide was committed during a temporary fit of insanity, aggravated doubtless by certain recent charges implicating him in frauds in the Hospital accounts and management. He spoke of the matter as if his sense of honor was wounded, though Dr. Gerry testifies that he "saw Dr. Raymond previously with regard to the charges in the morning papers, and he appeared to regard them with the contempt which they merited." Dr. Raymond stated to Mr. Pond on Monday last, during a conversation with reference to his suicidal propensities, that he had twice before in his life been affected in the same manner, and he was fearful at times that he would do himself an injury. The day before he died he conversed very calmly with his cousin, Mr. I. W. Raymond, on this subject. Dr. Nuttall felt certain that the act was not one of his volition; that if deceased had been in a proper state of mind, his energies would have been directed against it. Deceased was in comfortable circumstances, suffered from no pecuniary embarrassments, had, he said, five thousand dollars in the Savings Bank, and about as much in United States Bonds, besides what he had in his pocket; said he was never better off in his life, and had plenty saved up for the time he was likely yet to live. Deceased was a native of New York, fifty eight years of age. He has a step mother and two brothers living - one in New York and one in Maryland. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 17 September 1864.

Cruelty To Animals

Probably there is no law against it. A large truck wagon, with a load on it nearly as heavy as an ordinary church, came to a stand-still on the slippery cobble stones in front of the Russ House, yesterday, simply because the solitary horse attached to it found himself unable to keep up his regular gait with it. A street car and other vehicles were delayed some time by the blockade. It was natural to expect that a "streak" of lightning would come after the driver out of the cloudless sky, but it did not. It is likely Providence wasn't noticing.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 18 September 1864.

Theatrical Record

MAGUIRE'S OPERA HOUSE. - The past week has been devoted to benefits to the different leading members of the community; but the time is unpropitious for filling the house. Politics are surging; and our citizens find more amusement in attending their District Club meetings, mass meetings, and the rest, than in the theatre. To this cause as much as any other, perhaps, may be attributed the scant showing numbers present even when such popular actors as Charles R. Thorne and Frank Mayo made it a personal affair between themselves and the public. Again, the Mechanics' Industrial Fair is under full headway, and possesses attractions for an evening promenade among its collections of the wonders of science, art and skilled industry which the ladies find hard to resist. The theatrical managers would - to use the language of one of them - "rather fight twenty shows than one Mechanics' Fair;" especially such a complete one as has been opened in this city.... Tonight, the drama of "A Life's Revenge" will be given; and next week James H. Warwick takes the stage.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 18 September 1864.

Due Warning

Some one carried away a costly and beautiful hat from the Occidental Hotel, (where it was doing duty as security for a board bill,) some ten days ago, to the great and increasing unhappiness of its owner. Its return to the place from whence it was ravished, or to this office, will be a kindness which we shall be only too glad to reciprocate if we ever get a precisely similar opportunity, and the victim shall insist upon it. The hat in question was of the "plug" species, and was made by Tiffany; upon its inner surface the name of "J. Smith" had once been inscribed, but could not easily be deciphered, latterly, on account of "Mark Twain" having been written over it. We do not know J. Smith personally, but we remember meeting him at a social party some time ago, and at that time a misfortune similar to the one of which we are now complaining happened to him. He had several virulent cutaneous diseases, poor fellow, and we have somehow acquired them, also. We do not consider that the hat had anything to do with the matter, but we mention the circumstance as being a curious coincidence. However, we do not desire to see the coincidence extend to the whole community, notwithstanding the fact that the contemplation of its progress could not do otherwise than excite a lively and entertaining solicitude on the part of the people, and therefore we hasten, after ten days' careful deliberation, to warn the public against the calamity by which they are threatened. And we will not disguise a selfish hope, at the same time, that these remarks may have the effect of weaning from our hat the spoiler's affections, and of inducing him to part with it with some degree of cheerfulness. We do not really want it, but it is a comfort to us in our sorrow to be able thus to make it (as a commodity of barter and sale to other parties,) something of a drug on the market, as it were.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 18 September 1864.

The Theatres, Etc.

MAGUIRE'S OPERA HOUSE. - Mr. J. H. Warwick made his first appearance in an intensely sensational drama called "The Bottle." The play shows the unhappy results to a man of family which follow too close a devotion to the ardent, to the neglect of his regular business. Tableaux occur in it illustrative of Cruickshank's celebrated pictures. It is rather overwrought in the misery line, and a man who sits it out will be inclined to neglect his favorite brandy and water for a week or more. It has no comforting wind-up, as in "The Drunkard," where the reformed inebriate sings "Home; Sweet Home," in the midst of a family group and with his arm about his wife's waist; but after a series of unrelieved wretchedness, the least of which is murder, the unfortunate man in "The Bottle" dies in delirium tremens. Warwick was impressive in the principal character, Richard Thornley; and Mrs. Perry made a good deal out of the suffering wife. The drama will be repeated this evening, together with the farce of "His Last Legs."

WILSON-ZOYARA CIRCUS. - Some of the acrobatic feats at the pavilion excite the wonder of spectators. The most wonderful movements of the body are executed with a grace and precision that arouse unqualified admiration. Zoyara has the superb black horse Othello under the most perfect control, and he executes her bidding in the menage act with remarkable docility and accuracy - "like a Christian," as an enthusiastic horseman suggested. The camels are interesting; and altogether the show is very complete, and deserves to be visited by all.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 20 September 1864.


Two Chinamen got into a dispute early yesterday morning in a butcher shop, in Washington Alley, when one of them seized a pork cleaver and aimed four murderous blows at the other's head; the latter removed his head from the line of attack, and received the blows on his arm, hand and side. His arm got two deep gashes, his side a slight scratch, and his right hand was cut nearly in half, the blade striking a straight line across it a little below the base of the fingers. At this point the wounded man seized a knife and plunged it into his assailant's side, and withdrew from the contest, leaving him dangerously scared and feeble, but not fatally injured. He considered that he withdrew from the contest with credit to his share in the transaction; he evidently prided himself upon the fine judgment and spirit of moderation he had shown under circumstances where the forgetting of such virtues for a moment or two might be naturally regarded as excusable. Holding a stick in his mutilated left hand, he designated upon it with his thumbnail a point two inches and a half from the end of the stick, saying, "Only so how - not too litty, not too much !" Only an elaborate experience and the spirit of the true artist could have enabled this bland Chinaman to cypher down to a fraction the just amount of stabbing necessary to square accounts with his adversary without overdoing the thing or falling short of it. Officer James Conway arrested the mathematical Chinaman and jammed him into the station-house.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 21 September 1864.

A Terrible Weapon

A charge of assault with a deadly weapon, preferred in the Police Court yesterday, against Jacob Friedberg, was dismissed, at the request of all parties concerned, because of the scandal it would occasion to the Jewish Church to let the trial proceed, both the assaulted man and the man committing the assault being consecrated servants of that Church. The weapon used was a butcher-knife, with a blade more than two feet long, and as keen as a razor. The men were butchers, appointed by dignitaries of the Jewish Church to slaughter and inspect all beef intended for sale to their brethren, and in a dispute some time ago, one of them partly split the other's head open, from the top of the forehead to the end of his nose, with the sacred knife, and also slashed one of his hands. From these wounds the sufferer has only just recovered. The Jewish butcher is not appointed to his office in this country, but is chosen abroad by a college of Rabbis and sent hither. He kills beeves designed for consumption by Israelites, (or anyone else, if they choose to buy), and after careful examination, if he finds that the animal is in anyway diseased, it is condemned and discarded; if the contrary, the seal of the Church is placed upon it, and it is permitted to be sent into the market - a custom that might be adopted with profit by all sects and creeds. It is said that the official butcher always assures himself that the sacred knife is perfectly sharp and without a wire edge, before he cuts a bullock's throat; he then draws it with a single lightning stroke (and at any rate not more than two strokes are admissible,) and if the knife is still without a wire edge after the killing, the job has been properly done; but if the contrary is the case, it is adjudged that a bone has been touched and pain inflicted upon the animal, and consequently the meat cannot receive the seal of approval and must be thrown aside. It is a quaint custom of the ancient Church, and sounds strangely enough to modern ears. Considering that the dignity of the Church was in some sense involved in the misconduct of its two servants, the dismissal of the case without a hearing was asked and granted.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 21 September 1864.

Out Of Jail

James Donlan, who has been serving out a term of imprisonment in the County Jail, for uttering treasonable language, yesterday paid into the County Court one hundred and fifty dollars, the balance of his fine, after deducting the equivalent of seven and a half days confinement, and was released. Jail life must be very satisfactory, for those who have been compelled to spend a few days there come out of it completely satisfied. They don't want to go back, nor stay any longer than they can help, under the polite attentions of the man who carries the key.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 21 September 1864.

Queer Fish

At a case of pomological, ichthyological, mechanical, and a general variety of specimens, at the west side of the rotunda of the Mechanics' Fair building, is an unshapely looking animal, between a reptile and a fish, called the "Catfish Squid," preserved in alcohol. In size, the thing amounts to no more than a small potato, but the amount of physical force it is said to exert when not in liquor, and otherwise in good health, is somewhat enormous, being altogether disproportionate to its dimensions. A card appended to the jar that keeps the animal in spirits, informs the curious searcher after information that the squid can "take a man down and suck him to death." And if any is skeptical of the fact, he or she can just find out where there is one ready to perform, and try it on. This specimen was obtained near Oakland. Close by is another jar containing an odd looking individual of the lobster species, found on the islands. It lives in white sand, and is usually found in pairs.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 22 September 1864.

Strike Of The Steamer Employes

A large body of the strikers who have been employed on our ocean steamers, and who quit work because their wages were reduced below living rates, marched to Dall's shipping office, at the corner of Vallejo and Davis streets, yesterday morning, and afterwards proceeded to North Point, where the America was ready to set sail, but was waiting to ship a crew. Here they found men going aboard to take the vacant places at the reduced rates, and compelled them to take their kits ashore again, and give up the idea. Several men were knocked down and roughly handled in the melee which ensued, among them Captain Lees, of the Detective Police, who received a heavy blow on the head with a billet of wood. About noon the officers of the America acceded to the terms demanded by the workmen, and restored the former rate of wages, and a crew was then shipped without molestation. Wages on the Golden City will doubtless remain as they were before, also. The prices heretofore paid (and no increase was asked by the men,) were as follows: firemen, $70 a month; coal-passers, $60; sailors, $40, and waiters, $40; and they are little enough. Men who leave families ashore, could not support them on less, and it is anything but just to ask them to do it. The insignificant sum the steamship companies would make by the small reduction contemplated, would be lost again by the inferior capacity of the men employed, for good and capable men would not work at the terms offered.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 22 September 1864.

Dedication Of Bush Street School

The handsome and costly building lately erected on the corner of Bush and Taylor streets, was dedicated yesterday morning. The first part of the ceremonies consisted of some vocal and instrumental music.

Mayor Coon made a plain, sensible speech, pertinent to the occasion, and delivered the keys of the edifice into the hands of Mr. Tait, Superintendent of the Public Schools, who read a carefully prepared and rather interesting document relating to educational matters in the city and county of San Francisco. According to his estimate, there are about 29,000 persons among us under the age of eighteen years; of these, 18,000 were born in California; 6,000 attend the Public, and nearly 5,000 the Private Schools; 2,600 children, old enough to receive instruction, attend no School at all, and would not if they could; and there is a still larger number that would if they could, but are debarred by the want of School accommodations at present. The new Bush Street School contains twelve classes, numbering in the aggregate seven hundred and sixty pupils.

Mr. Denman, the Principal of the School, followed with a brief but interesting history of the rise and progress of the Public School system of San Francisco, and after a song by the girls, the Rev. Dr. Bellows delivered what was probably the ablest address that such an occasion ever called forth, either here or any where else. There were two things in his discourse which marked the profound thinker, and which had in them more of significance and matter for serious reflection than all the speeches and sermons we have heard in a year. He said California had been blessed beyond all other lands in her mild and salubrious climate, and she was proud of it and grateful for it - but let her look to it that this blessing be not turned into a curse. There was danger of it; there was unquestionably great and serious danger of it. There was room for profound apprehension for the future of a land that had no firesides! It was around the home fireside, in the midst of the sacred home circle, when the toils, and the vanities and the cares of the day were over, and the world, with its pomp and wretchedness, and its sin and show and folly, shut out and forgotten, that those sweet and holy influences were brought to bear that trained young hearts in the love of the good and the abhorrence of evil; first impressions that clung to them, and formed and ennobled their characters, and fitted them to mould and purify society and advance the well being of the State in after life. He feared for the future happiness of a land without these fireside influences. In another division of his address the speaker dwelt upon the tremendous responsibilities resting upon those here in whose keeping was entrusted the moral, religious and educational training of the young, and said that in California those responsibilities were incalculably greater than in any other section of the Union, for upon them devolved the work of laying the foundations of a society and a government which, at the end of this generation, must be delivered into the hands of a community of young men and young women, with no old and experienced heads left among them to guide and watch over them with that sound wisdom and judgment which can only be gained by fighting the hard battle of life, and with few among their own numbers who have had an opportunity of getting even a theoretical idea of the worldly knowledge and wisdom that would have fallen to them in a land where old men and old women were numerous. He met only youths and maidens, comparatively speaking, in all the walks of life upon this Pacific Coast - a section of the world where forty years entitled a man to be called venerable. From his observation of the character, and habits, and domestic training of the new generation, full of life and activity, and impatient of restraint, which he saw growing up here, debarred from association with age and from whole some instruction from the experienced, California had need to fear for her well-being when her few remaining veterans shall have passed away, and left this great and powerful State, with its mighty interests, in the keeping of a community who are men and women in age, but merely boys and girls in wisdom and experience. This was why he considered that the teachers of the youth on this coast were burthened with heavier responsibilities than those of any other land. The task before them is to raise up a great and good people, out of an army of youths and maidens springing up in a land where aged men and women are not, and firesides are unknown.

Dr. Bellows uttered many a great and original thought during his oration, but none seemed so new and startling, and withal so pregnant with significance as these two which we have attempted to set down here in outline. The spirit of prophecy was upon him. It will be well if California heeds the warning he has proclaimed to her.


Dr. Bellows was followed by the Rev. Mr. Mingins and Dr. Sawyer. Their addresses contained nothing worth reporting, and only had the effect of postponing the calisthenic exercises of the school girls till two o'clock, thus disappointing many who had come on purpose to see them. Sawyer lauded the Board and the building, but he neglected to mention the salaries of the poor teachers. And he abused the newspapers for censuring the Board of Education - warned the people to disbelieve everything editors and reporters published against that spotless body of men.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 23 September 1864.

Farewell Address Of Dr. Bellows

A fair idea of the estimation in which the Rev. Dr. Bellows is held by the people of this coast, and the impression he has made upon them in his patriotic and benevolent labors on behalf of our country and our country's defenders, might have been conceived from the attendance on the meeting last night at Platt's Hall appointed as an occasion for this great and good man to bid a final farewell to the people of California. The house was filled to its utmost capacity, yet not a sound of disorder was heard, nor a breath of disapprobation. The Presidio Band did its part, as usual, unexceptionably, the airs discoursed being somewhat of a solemn character, selected in adaptation to the occasion. The entrance of General McDowell was greeted with applause. Dr. Bellows was not present, when Governor Low, the President of the California Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, opened the meeting with a short address, and consequently other speakers occupied the time until the Dr. entered. The Rev. Mr. Grot, of Marysville, made the opening prayer, and Rev. Dr. Cheney was presented to the audience. After speaking of the fame of Californians for their work in behalf of the Commission, their noble and generous contributions, referring feelingly to the death of Rev. Starr King, and stating the impressions he received during a recent visit of four months to the Eastern States, with regard to the strong current of feeling in favor of the Sanitary Commission, the substantial aid it receives from all quarters, the veneration the soldier has for the organization and its agents, and then referring to the pluck and the fortitude of the soldier, on the field, or wounded and maimed in the hospitals, he yielded the floor and was followed by Rev. Mr. Stebbins, the successor of Dr. Bellows in the Pastorship of the Geary street Church, (late Starr King's.) Dr. Bellows arrived while Mr. Stebbins was speaking, and followed next in order. His appearance was the signal for prolonged applause. His speech was characterized by that animation of thought and fluency of expression that is peculiar to the Doctor. His devotion to the cause of the Commission of which he is the honored head, warmed up in him, and the relief of the suffering soldier and the support of the cause in which he is suffering usurped his every thought and lifted his soul above every other consideration. He paid an affectionate and mournful tribute to the memory of the late T. Starr King, and passed a glowing eulogy on the liberality of Californians to the cause of the Sanitary Commission; out of their impecuniosity they had contributed largely. He praised the people of this State for their fidelity to the Government; expressed his confidence in our civil and military heads; condoled with us in our present seeming adversity; and after exhorting the people to make the ballot box their paramount object, to which the cause of the Sanitary Commission must be held as secondary in importance, breathing his fervent loyalty to the Government, and declaring his thorough adhesion to the Administration, he invoked the blessings of Heaven on our people, and bade his audience an affectionate farewell. To hear Dr. Bellows speak, was what the people thronged the Hall for, and as soon as he closed his address, without waiting for a formal adjournment, they dismissed themselves and the meeting ended.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 23 September 1864.

Ah Sow Discharged

Ah Sow, the mathematical Chinaman, who stabbed Ah Wong "not too litty, not too much," but just exactly enough to make him uncomfortable, was discharged from custody yesterday, at the request of the grateful creature who was indebted for his life to his spirit of forbearance and the exercise of his extraordinary anatomical judgment.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 24 September 1864.

Children At The Fair

The children of the Public Schools come in droves and armies to the Fair now, everyday, by invitation of the management. The children be longing to the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum visited the Pavilion yesterday, and the pupils of the Mason Street Public School, to the number of eight or nine hundred, filed into the building during the afternoon. A strong force of Teachers and exhibitors has to be on hand on occasions like these, to keep Young America from getting ground up in the machinery.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 24 September 1864.

The Fair At The Fair

About seventy of the handsomest young ladies in the State marched in double file into the Fair Pavilion yesterday morning, broke ranks, deployed as skirmishers, and effected a bloodless capture of the place, at five minutes to eleven o'clock. It was observed that they seemed to take a deeper interest in the pianos and pictures, and especially in the laces and hair-oil and furs, than in the quartz mashers and patent grindstones. It is because their tastes are not fully developed yet, perhaps. They made the only good music that has been extracted from the fine pianos in the Art Gallery since those instruments have been condemned to public persecution in that place; they played "Sweet Home," with tender expression, and thought of lively Oakland, where they came from, and sighed for the turmoil and excitement of its busy thorough fares. This detachment of young ladies was from Mrs. Harmon's Pacific Female Seminary, one of the best schools in the State. It is situated about a mile from the city just named. Mr. McClure, Mr. Beldler, Miss Wills, Mrs. Harvey, Madame Parot, Miss Cameron, and perhaps other Teachers employed in the Seminary, accompanied Mrs. Harmon and her pupils to the Fair. We have ascertained that no young gentlemen pupils are wanted at present.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 September 1864.

Mortimer Again

Charles James Mortimer, who attempted to kill Detective Rose, a short time ago, has been seen in the coast range, between San Mateo and Spanishtown, within the past day or two. He was recognized by two men, and his capture attempted, but he shot one of his assailants in the hand, and the other in the foot, and escaped. These facts were ascertained by a telegram from Sheriff Keith, of San Mateo county, and Officer Chappel was at once sent down there to look after Mortimer. He telegraphed Captain Lees, yesterday, that no traces of the missing scoundrel could be found, and that it would be useless to send down a larger force to hunt for him. The country where he was seen is covered for miles with a dense growth of willows, and Mortimer can hide in them and elude pursuit as long as he wants to. He need not lack for animal food, for the district is full of fowls, pigs, sheep, and bullocks, from which he can take his choice at any time under cover of the night. The only sure method of catching him lies in burning the willows; but as this would probably result in the destruction of the crops thereabouts, the farmers will not permit it to be done.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 September 1864.

Accommodating Witness

A man was summoned to testify in the Police Court, yesterday, and simply because he said he would swear a jackass was a canary, if necessary, his services were declined. It was not generous to crush a liberal spirit like that.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 September 1864.

The Mint Troubles

A report is abroad that the Branch Mint is about to close - that the employes, being no longer able to support themselves and families on the mere prospect of getting the salaries due them paid some day or other, have given notice that unless their accounts are previously squared, they will quit work in a body on the 30th instant. These reports were not without foundation. We are glad to be able to state, however, that the Mint is not going to stop, nor the men be allowed to suffer much longer for the moneys due them. Within two weeks, or at farthest three, all cause of complaint will be removed, and the employes themselves have been satisfied of this fact. We get our information at headquarters.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 25 September 1864.

Boat Salvage

One Pinkney, a longshoreman, had some of the crew of a French bark up before the Police Court, yesterday, for an assault and battery, alleged to have been committed upon him. The Frenchmen testified that a stray boat was drifting toward their vessel, and they received signals from a Bremen bark, to which it belonged, to catch it, which they prepared to do. Pinkney came out after it with his boat, and overtook it just as it touched the bow of the French bark; his mast got entangled in the vessel's chains, and fell over and struck him on the arm; five French sailors pushed off and took the stray boat away from Pinkney. Pinkney testified that he got the blow on his arm from an oar in the hands of one of the sailors, and when asked if he had any witnesses to prove that such was the case, he said "No ;" that the District Attorney told him his arm would be sufficient evidence ! The Attorney had a precedent. John Phoenix once told of a bull that pulled fifteen hundred logs at one time, and if any one doubted it, he could go and show him the bull. Pinkney's arm was not considered sufficient evidence of the assault, nor yet his whole anatomy together, and the case was dismissed.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 27 September 1864.


Mrs. Hall entered complaint against a groggery at the corner of Post and Taylor streets, as a nuisance, yesterday, in the Police Court. The case was dismissed. It might not have been, if she had gone to the expense of procuring more legal assistance to prosecute it. The Prosecuting Attorney is a powerful engine, in his way, but he is not infallible. If parties would start him in and let him worm out of the witnesses all the facts that have no bearing upon the case, and no connection with it, and whether the offence was committed "In the City 'n County San Francisco" or not, and then have another talented lawyer to start in and find out all the facts that do bear upon the case and are really connected with it, what multitudes of rascals that now escape would suffer the just penalties of their transgressions. With his spectacles on, and his head tilted back at a proper angle, there is no question that the Prosecuting Attorney is an ornament to the Police Court; but whether he is particularly useful or not, or whether Government could worry along without him or not, or whether it is necessary that a Prosecuting Attorney should give all his time, or bend all his energies, or throw all his soul into the one thing of being strictly ornamental, or not, are matters which do not concern us, and which we have never once thought about. Sometimes he has some of his witnesses there, and isn't that sufficient?

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 27 September 1864.

The Deaf Mutes At The Fair

The inmates of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, to the number of about three dozen, visited the Fair yesterday, in company with their Teachers, and kept up an unceasing and extraordinarily animated conversation about its wonders until their arms and fingers were utterly fagged out with talking. Poor fellows; we could not help thinking what a great advantage they have over ordinary people, for you might remove their tongues and break one of their arms, and they would go on talking with the other all the same. These pupils talk with incredible rapidity, and their hands, bodies, and the muscles of their expressive faces are never at rest. They are always listening with their watchful, restless eyes, and no movement escapes them. The pupils of the Public School at the corner of Fifth and Market streets also attended the Fair yesterday, in a crowd numbering between five and six hundred.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 29 September 1864.

After Mortimer

Detective Officer Rose is able to walk about the streets again, although the wounds he received at Mortimer's hands would have proved mortal to any but a petrified constitution. Rose's left hand is still in a badly crippled condition, and his little finger will have to be cut off. He says that when Mortimer struck him on the head with a stone, in the twilight of that eventful evening, the blow stunned him somewhat, but did not render him unconscious; he grappled with his man, but found that he was unable to cope with him, and when he was stabbed through the windpipe, he feigned death, and instead of spitting out the flowing blood that was threatening to choke him, he lay still and swallowed it. When Mortimer came back the second time and spoke to him, he did not answer, but the motion of his body, caused by breathing, betrayed him, and Mortimer commenced beating him over the head with the pistol. Rose counted the blows, down to the thump behind the ear that knocked him senseless. As we remarked above, Mr. Rose is now sufficiently recovered to be about again. He left yesterday to hunt for Mortimer, and has made up his mind to catch him.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 29 September 1864.

Advice To Witnesses

Witnesses in the Police Court, who expect to be questioned on the part of the prosecution, should always come prepared to answer the following questions: "Was you there, at the time?" "Did you see it done, and if you did, how do you know?" "City and County of San Francisco?" "Is your mother living, and if so, is she well ?" "You say the defendant struck the plaintiff with a stick. Please state to the Court what kind of a stick it was?" "Did it have the bark on, and if so, what kind of bark did it have on?" "Do you consider that such a stick would be just as good with the bark on, as with it off, or vicy versy ?" "Why ?" "I think you said it occurred in the City and County of San Francisco ?" "You say your mother has been dead seventeen years - native of what place, and why?" "You don't know anything about this assault and batterys do you?" "Did you ever study astronomy? - hard, isn't it?" "You have seen this defendant before, haven't you ?" "Did you ever slide on a cellar door when you were a boy?" "Well - that's all." "Stay: did this occur in the City and County of San Francisco ?" The Prosecuting Attorney may mean well enough, but meaning well and doing well are two very different things. His abilities are of the mildest description, and do not fit him for a position like the one he holds, where energy, industry, tact, shrewdness, and some little smattering of law, are indispensable to the proper fulfilment of its duties. Criminals leak through his fingers every day like water through a sieve. He does not even afford a cheerful amount of competition in business to the sharp lawyers over whose heads he was elected to be set up as an ornamental effigy in the Police Court. He affords a great deal less than no assistance to the Judge, who could convict sometimes if the District Attorney would remain silent, or if the law had not hired him at a salary of two hundred and fifty dollars a month to unearth the dark and ominous fact that the "offence was committed in the City and County of San Francisco." The man means well enough, but he don't know how; he makes of the proceedings in behalf of a sacred right and justice in the Police Court, a drivelling farce, and he ought to show his regard for the public welfare by resigning.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 29 September 1864.

More Children

It would have worried the good King Herod to see the army of school children that swarmed into the Fair yesterday, if he could have been there to suffer the discomfort of knowing he could not slaughter them under our eccentric system of government without getting himself into trouble. There were about eight hundred pupils of the Public Schools in the building at one time.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 30 September 1864.


John Bassett, who had a crowd of witnesses to prove that his honesty was almost miraculous, and that his character was a holy hash of all the Christian virtues, and who stood through it all, in the prisoners' dock, stunned to learn it for the first time in his life, no doubt, was ordered to appear before the County Court and answer to a charge of highway robbery, committed lately on Pacific street, when he knocked a man down and took twenty-six dollars away from him. We have seen many a nice lot of witnesses in the Police Court, but those for the defence in this case could about discount the best of them in the matter of clean, straightforward swearing to doubtful propositions.

The San Francisco Daily Morning Call. 30 September 1864.


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