Page images
[merged small][ocr errors]

this region to sever it from Utah and form it into a separate Territory, which also it was proposed should be named Nevada. Chafing under the rule of the Mormons, as already related, they began agitating this measure as early as 1857, consummating it two years thereafter—that is, so far as the adoption of a constitution, and the election of Territorial officers and a delegate to Congress, could effect that object; the national legislature, when it came to be submitted to them, declining to indorse their action, James M. Crane was chosen delegate to represent these people at Washington, whither he proceeded in 1858, urging their claims in a very intelligent and energetic manner. Returning to his constituents in 1859, Crane dying suddenly in the fall of that year, John J. Musser was elected his successor. Musser also went to Washington, where he spent a year without accomplishing or materially advancing the object of his mission. In the mean time, events transpired that led the people to abandon the effort at establishing a separate government, and determined them to reorganize the county of Carson, as being the only procedure that promised to bring them pres. ent relief. The discovery of the mines at Virginia had brought in a large popuzlation, and, by advancing the prices of property, stimulating trade, and creating a new and more potential industry, rendered the adoption of some plan for insuring an administration of law necessary. No attempt at setting the machinery of this provisional government in motion had as yet been made; wherefore, when the Territorial Legislature convened at Genoa, the capital, on the 15th day of December, 1859, Governor Roop, in the message transmitted to them, having re. counted the causes that had first led to the inauguration of this movement and the changed circumstances under which they now found themselves placed, adjourned the Assembly to the month of January following—this, the first, proving to be the final adjournment of that body. In the spring of 1860, John Cradlebaugh, appointed one of the United States District Judges for Utah, arrived in Carson Valley, having been assigned to this portion of the Territory. As an officer, he discharged

his duties to the satisfaction of the people, but as all proceedings had to be taken and all cases adjudicated under the statutes of Utah, popular dissatisfaction failed to be allayed, and but little judicial business was done; nor did the restoration of Carson County, containing all the white population in the western part of the Territory, secure the good results anticipated. Confusion and insecurity continued to prevail

, rendering the titles to property uncertain, keeping out capital, and greatly impeding the industrial progress of the country, until Congress, by an act approved March 2, 1861, erected this part of Utah into the Territory of Nevada, a measure that soon brought order and security, relieving the community of a condition of things bordering on anarchy. In the month of July following, James W. Nye, who had been appointed Governor, and most of the other Federal officials, arrived in the Territory, and at once entered upon the vigorous performance of their duties. On the 31st dav of August an election was held in accordance with a proclamation of the Governor, whereat members of the Legislature and a delegate to Congress were chosen, Judge Cradlebaugh being selected for the latter position. The Legislature at their first session, commencing on the first of October, enacted a very excellent code of laws, modelled after those of California. The Territorial organization thus effected continued to be maintained until the 19th day of January, 1864, when it was superseded by the present State constitution, then adopted under an enabling act of Congress. A similar instrument, framed by a convention duly chosen, had, on being submitted to the people, been by them rejected the previous year. Nevada was, on proclamation of the President, admitted into the Union, forming the thirty-sixth State, on the last day of October, 1864, being barely in time to allow the people to cast a vote for presidential electors that year. The constitution of this Štate declares in its Bill of Rights that the paramount allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government, and that no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

their connection therewith, or to perform any other act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the supreme authority of the Government of the United States, and asserting the right of the latter to maintain the Union, and compel obedience to its laws by the employment of whatever force is necessary to that end-Nevada having been the first State to engraft this doctrine of Federal supremacy on its fundamental law. In her acceptance of the provision contained in the enabling act of Congress, requiring that she should, by an ordinance forever irrevocable, without the consent of the United States, prohibit slavery within her limits, Nevada has entitled herself to the further distinction of being the first State to surrender all power over this institution, by a condition precedent to the framing of her primary law. The entire vote polled in the State at the Novembe relection in 1864, was 16,420, of which 9,826 were cast for Lincoln and 6,594 for McClellan electors. On this occasion H. G. Blasdel was chosen Governor, in opposition to David E. Buel, and Henry G. Worthington was eleeted member of the House of Representatives. The Legislature, at its first session under the new constitution, elected William M. Stewart and James W. Nye United States Senators, the latter having been reëlected to this position in January, 1867. Delos R. Ashley, chosen representative to Congress in 1864, was reelected in the fall of 1866, at which time also H. G. Blasdel was reëlected Governor of the State. At its session commencing on the first Monday of January, 1867, the Legislature of this State ratified the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery in all parts of the Republic, there being but a single negative vote cast in each branch of that body.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Translated from the Coleccion de documentos relativos al departmento de Californias, por
Manuel Castañares."

“MEXICO, 1844.
“The deposit of gold discovered in the course of last year has attracted great
attention. It extends itself nearly thirty leagues. The good quality of this
metal is made manifest by the certificate of its assay, which was made by the
bank of this capital, the original of which is in the possession of your Excellency.
In order to bring to light the elements of the great riches in which the Califor-
nias abound, it is necessary to dictate the means of a very thorough examination.
I shall have the honor within a few days to present to your Excellency an account
of what those detailed elements consist, and the means of unfolding them with
very few sacrifices.


Extract of letter to the Minister of Foreign Relations and Government concerning the resources of the State.


[ocr errors]

“This branch ought to be considered less worthy of attracting attention than agriculture. It is nevertheless of great importance, and I have the satisfaction of assuring you that it forms in California one of the most valuable resources which that department contains. Besides the mines of silver which have been found and which have been proved by the extraction of some metal, the placer of gold in particular is worthy of all attention, which, with nearly thirty leagues of extension, was discovered lately, and the coal-mines. It is painful for me to have to confess that this branch is in a worse state than that of agriculture, that it is in its infancy—this, it can be said, is not yet born, notwithstanding that, according to the approximate calculation of reliable people of Los Angeles, on my departure from that town in December, 1863, there were in circulation about two thousand ounces of gold which had been taken out of the above-mentioned mine, the greater part of which was destined to the United States. This metal has some alloy-according to the certificate of its assay by the bank of this capital, which was in the possession of the government at the beginning of this year-twentytwo carats' two and a half grains of gold and fifteen grains of silver.”





In the middle part of California, has an average height of 2,000 or 3,000 feet, with no peaks as high as 4,000 feet. To the north and south its average height is about 5,000 feet. To the west of this range the temperature is greatly modified by the ocean, making the range of the thermometer very small

. To the east, as in Sacramento Valley, the temperature varies much more, because much of the moisture from the sea cannot reach it.

* Translated by Charles Yale.

+ Furnished by Lieutenant-Colonel Williamson, U.S. A.


Is the highest range of mountains in the United States. Its passes are from 5,000 to 8,000 feet high, with peaks to the north and south occasionally reaching over 14,000 feet. The central part is of less altitude. The climate of the western slope is very dry, compared with that of the coast, with a considerable monthly and daily range of the thermometer.


East of the Sierra the climate is exceedingly dry, the difference of the wet and dry bulbs of the psychrometer occasionally reaching 40°F. Sometimes the thermometer will read 80° F. at two P. M., and below the freezing point in the coldest part of the following night. This so-called “Great Basin ” is bounded on the east by the Rocky Mountains, on the south by the Colorado River, etc., and has an average height of 4,000 feet, with peaks and ranges sometimes reaching 10,000 feet. It contains a valley 30 miles in length (“Death Valley," the sink of the Amargosa River), which is 175 feet below the level of the sea.

The Colorado Desert has a climate very much like that of the Great Basin, though it is much nearer the level of the sea. The temperature occasionally reaches 120° F. in the shade. On the Pacific coast the barometer seldom changes in the warmest month more than of an inch, and in the coldest month more than 6 of an inch.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »