There was a newspaper slip also glued to the inside of the lid, with words as follows: “Monday, Oct. 31, 1864. The City of San Francisco vs. United States. Judge Field yesterday delivered the following opinion in the above case. It will be read with great interest by the people of this city.” Then followed several lines of the opinion. Even that gave no clue to the source of the infernal machine, but from the fact that it was evidently made by a scientific man, and that from its size it must have been passed through the window at the post office, instead of into the letter-box, it was thought [that there was] a sufficiently conspicuous mode of action to expose the sender of the torpedo to detection. Whoever it may have been took a late vengeance for the decision of the Pueblo case—if such was the veritable motive of the frustrated assassination—as the decision referred to was rendered in 1864. On that account it was conjectured that the contriver of the machine might be some guilty person, who had received sentence from you, and who used the reference to the Pueblo case to divert suspicion from himself.
So far as I know, all efforts to discover the author of the intended mischief have been fruitless.
The box with its contents, was sent to the Secretary of War, who directed an examination by the Ordnance Department. General Dyer, then Chief of Ordnance, pronounced it a most cleverly combined torpedo, and exploded one of the cartridges in a closed box, producing a deep indentation upon its sides.
General Dyer added, among other analytical details, that the ball weighed 52 grains.
All the circumstances connected with the reception of the infernal machine were too singular and, at that time, ominous, not to remain vividly impressed upon my memory.
Very truly, your friend,
* * * * *
The following is an extract from the Report to the Commissioner of the General Land-Office by the Register and Receiver of the Land-Office in California, to whom the matter of the contests for lands on the Soscol Ranch was submitted for investigation, showing the condition and occupation of the lands previous to the rejection of the grant by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the character of the alleged pre-emption settlements which Julian undertook to defend.
A general report of the facts established by said evidence is briefly as follows: When the United States government took possession of California, Don Mariana Guadaloupe Vallejo was in the occupancy of the rancho of Soscol, claiming to own it by virtue of the grant from the Mexican nation, which has recently (December term, 1861) been declared invalid by the Supreme Court of the United States. His occupancy was the usual one of the country and in accordance with the primitive habits of the people. He possessed