My dear Wigmore,—This is a formal note of acknowledgment of the service rendered me in the campaign, which has just closed successfully. There were only three Democrats elected on the general ticket, the Mayor, Assessor, and myself. I ran four thousand five hundred votes ahead of my ticket. It was a splendid tribute to worth! I never before realized how discriminating the American public is. A man who scoffs at Democratic institutions must be a tyrant at heart, or a defeated candidate. I tell you the people know a good man when they see one.
My opponent was the present Attorney General of the State, W. F. Fitzgerald, a very capable man, and probably the best man on the Republican ticket. He has been steadily in office for thirty years, in Mississippi, Arizona, and California, and this is his first defeat; and I sincerely regret that I had to take a fall out of such a gentleman.
Now, the perplexing problem arises as to how long I shall hold office. The term is for two years. The new charter comes up before the coming Legislature for approval in January, and that instrument provides for another election next fall, to fill all City and County offices. ...
I don’t want to stay in politics, two years in the office will be long enough for me. I hope that I shall make a creditable record. I can foresee that strong pressure will be brought to bear upon me to act with the Examiner in making things disagreeable for the corporations, and I will have no easy task in gaining the approval of my own party, and of my conscience and judgment at the same time.
Let me thank you again very earnestly for what you did, and believe me. Yours sincerely,
FRANKLIN K. LANE
The City Charter that Lane had helped to draft, with its many new provisions, never before adjudicated, made his first term as City and County Attorney one requiring an especial amount of laborious legal study. To meet the pressing need, Lane organized his corps of assistants to include several men of marked legal ability and the industry that the task demanded, appointing his brother, George W. Lane, as his first assistant.
It was partly due to the good team-work of the office that his opinions rendered in four years were as “numerous as those heretofore rendered by the department in about sixteen years,” and that during one of the years of his incumbency “snot a dollar of damages was obtained against the city.”
[Illustration with caption: Franklin K. Lane as city and county attorney]
To John H. Wigmore
San Francisco, September 25, 
My dear Wigmore,— ... As an evidence of what I am doing I sent you a brief three or four days ago in the Charter case. I have another just filed on the question of county officers holding over under the Charter, a third on the new primary law which is a grand thing if we can make it stick, and a fourth on the taxation of bonds of quasi-public corporations, and a fifth on the taxation of National Bank stock.