Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State eBook

George Congdon Gorham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 412 pages of information about Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State.

FIRST EXPERIENCES IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Upon landing from the steamer, my baggage consisted of two trunks, and I had only the sum of ten dollars in my pocket.  I might, perhaps, have carried one trunk, but I could not manage two; so I was compelled to pay out seven of my ten dollars to have them taken to a room in an old adobe building on the west side of what is now known as Portsmouth Square.  This room was about ten feet long by eight feet wide, and had a bed in it.  For its occupation the sum of $35 a week was charged.  Two of my fellow-passengers and myself engaged it.  They took the bed, and I took the floor.  I do not think they had much the advantage on the score of comfort.

The next morning I started out early with three dollars in my pocket.  I hunted, up a restaurant and ordered the cheapest breakfast I could get.  It cost me two dollars.  A solitary dollar was, therefore, all the money in the world I had left, but I was in no respect despondent over my financial condition.  It was a beautiful day, much like an Indian Summer day in the East, but finer.  There was something exhilarating and exciting in the atmosphere which made everybody cheerful and buoyant.  As I walked along the streets, I met a great many persons I had known in New York, and they all seemed to be in the highest spirits.  Every one in greeting me, said “It is a glorious country,” or “Isn’t it a glorious country?” or “Did you ever see a more glorious country?” or something to that effect.  In every case the word “glorious” was sure to come out.  There was something infectious in the use of the word, or rather in the feeling, which made its use natural.  I had not been out many hours that morning before I caught the infection; and though I had but a single dollar in my pocket and no business whatever, and did not know where I was to get the next meal, I found myself saying to everybody I met, “It is a glorious country.”  The city presented an appearance which, to me, who had witnessed some curious scenes in the course of my travels, was singularly strange and wild.  The Bay then washed what is now the east side of Montgomery street, between Jackson and Sacramento streets; and the sides of the hills sloping back from the water were covered with buildings of various kinds, some just begun, a few completed,—­all, however, of the rudest sort, the greater number being merely canvas sheds.  The locality then called Happy Valley, where Mission and Howard streets now are, between Market and Folsom streets, was occupied in a similar way.  The streets were filled with people, it seemed to me, from every nation under Heaven, all wearing their peculiar costumes.  The majority of them were from the States; and each State had furnished specimens of every type within its borders.  Every country of Europe had its representatives; and wanderers without a country were there in great numbers.  There were also Chilians, Sonorians, Kanakas from the

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Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California with Other Sketches; To Which Is Added the Story of His Attempted Assassination by a Former Associate on the Supreme Bench of the State from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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