Here are natural springs of water, and in the early days it was well wooded with live-oak trees. To the eyes of Drake and other early navigators and explorers it must have been a vision of beauty, lifting itself out of the waters. Not many trees are seen here now, however, but you may behold instead in harvest time fields of grain. It is especially noted for its stone quarries, and out of these were taken the materials for the fortifications of Alcatraz and Fort Point—as well as the California bank building. It was my privilege at a later day, in company with many of the members of the General Convention to sail over the Bay and around these islands, which one can never forget. The steamer “Berkeley” was courteously placed at the service of the members of the Convention by the officers of the Southern Pacific Railway; and it was indeed a most enjoyable afternoon under clear and balmy skies as we rode along the shores of the Peninsula, and up the eastern side of the Bay, and northward towards San Pablo, and then around Angel Island and Alcatraz strongly fortified, a distance altogether of forty miles. But now on the first morning, veiled partly with clouds, San Francisco rises on the view, that city of so many memories by the waters of the Pacific, where many a one has been wrecked in body and soul as well as in fortune, while others have grown rich and have led useful lives. Yes, it is San Francisco at last! And while it looms upon the view with its varied landscape, its hills and towered buildings, I am reminded of another October morning when I first saw Constantinople, when old Stamboul with its Seraglio Point, and Galata with its tower, and Pera on the heights above, and Yildiz to the east, and Scutari across the Bosphorus, all were revealed gradually as the mists rolled away. So the Golden City of the West is disclosed to view as the shadows disappear and the clouds break and flee away and the morning sun hastening across the lofty Sierras gilds the homes of the rich and poor alike, and bathes water and land in beauty. There is another city on the shore of a tideless sea, and it will be the joyful morning of eternal life, when, earthly journeys ended, we walk over its golden streets!
SAN FRANCISCO AND THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD
San Francisco—Her Hills—Her
Landscapes—Population of Different
Decades—The Flag on the Plaza in 1846—Yerba Buena its Earliest
Name—First Englishman and First American to Build Here—The Palace
Hotel—The Story of the Discovery of. Gold in 1848—Sutter and
Marshall—The News Spread Abroad—Multitudes Flock to the Gold
Mines—San Francisco in 1849.