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HISTORY OF THE STATE MINING BUREAU.
A very full history of the California State Mining Bureau, from its commencement in 1880 to the fifteenth of May, 1885, may be found in the five annual reports which precede this. The history includes a relation of the many difficulties met with in the establishment of the institution, which it will not be necessary to repeat here.
The Board of Trustees appointed by Governor Stoneman, in accordance with an Act of the Legislature (Assembly Bill No. 78, which passed the Assembly February 11, 1885, and the Senate March 5, 1885), organized April 18, 1885.
The following gentlemen constitute the Board: William Irelan, Jr., S. Heydenfeldt, Jr., J. Z. Davis, Walter E. Dean, and George Hearst. William Irelan, Jr., was elected Chairman, and S. Heydenfeldt, Jr., Secretary.
The Act providing for a Board of Trustees is published in full in the fifth annual report of this office.
Immediately on the return of the State Mineralogist from the New Orleans Exposition, preparation was made for removal to the fine fireproof building recently erected by the Society of California Pioneers. The building is situated on Fourth Street, near Market, on the property donated to that society by James Lick.
The removal, which was made during an unusually rainy season, was nevertheless finished without serious loss from breakage, and the entire time, up to the date of this report, has been employed in placing the museum in order.
The collection of seven thousand catalogued specimens, and many not yet entered, is arranged in cases, and classified into seven principal groups, as follows: MINERALS, ORES, Rocks, Fossils, SHELLS, ETHNOLOGY, and SunDRIES. The whole should now be rearranged into geographical divisions. This, by my calculation, would require the entire time of an industrious man for one year, as I have planned to do it. From this may be inferred the estimate I place on the magnitude and importance of the State Museum at the present time.
While the exhibition of the State minerals at New Orleans was worth far more than the cost necessitated by twice packing and thrice removing the specimens, it set back the work of the Mining Bureau for six months. The removal to the new building, and arrangement of the museum, occupied three months more. The specimens are now all in place, and I am pleased to state that no serious loss, or material injury from breakage, or otherwise, has been sustained.
PRESENT CONDITION OF THE STATE MINING BUREAU.
The condition of the institution is most satisfactory.
The State is now in possession of a very extensive museum, which has cost but a trifle compared with its actual value.
It would have been impossible to make so large and varied a collection, even if many times the money expended had been at the disposal of the State Mineralogist, were it not that prospectors were willing to send to the State Mining Bureau many fine and interesting specimens in return for information extended to them. The State is greatly indebted to Wells, Fargo & Co., and the several steamship companies, for free transportation.
The museum is one of which the people should be proud.
Mr. Joseph Wasson, to whom the State of California owes a just debt of gratitude, gave the future of the State Mining Bureau much thought, and nobly made the foundation broad and ample. But the institution has grown more rapidly than even he expected, and while it is at the present time in a healthy and prosperous condition, its future should be made the subject of careful legislation.
The institution has been carried through many difficulties, and has been placed in a safe and suitable building, and the financial management transferred to a Board of Trustees, who will care for it in the future. There is money enough to keep it alive until the meeting of the next Legislature. The museum is still growing, and will continue to do so. It is to be hoped that the next Legislature will make sufficient provision for its support.
From the experience I have made during a period of six years while holding the office of State Mineralogist, it is my opinion that the State Museum should be entirely separated from the office of State Mineralogist, and all the responsibility of that department removed from him. He should be provided with the necessary assistants and money (which need not be a large sum). The money for the support of his office, which is really the most important branch of the State Mining Bureau, should be entirely under his control, and he should be allowed to manage his department according to his own judgment, without interference from the Board of Trustees, he bearing the responsibility.
Many valuable specimens have been presented to the museum during the past year, and I regret that, owing to reasons mentioned elsewhere, it has been impossible to present in this report a full list of the names of those who have thus enriched the State Museum by their generous donations. I take this occasion to acknowledge, generally, the receipt of many valuable gifts which have been placed in the museum cases when it has been possible to do so. Others will be arranged and catalogued in due time.
This department has grown in proportion to the advance of the institution, and to that extent that it is now fully the work of one individual during business hours to care for it properly. I am sorry to say that the numerous letters received by the State Mining Bureau have not always been answered as promptly as they should have been addressed as they were to an important institution in one of the most important States of the American Union. I can only offer as an excuse the utter impossibility of doing better, for reasons too often repeated in the reports of this office. The State Mining Bureau numbers among its correspondents scientific societies, State and foreign governments, and noted individuals, besides many citizens of the Pacific Coast, wishing information as to the natural resources of California. When it has been possible to do so, all procurable information has been given. The reputation of California as a mineral-producing State
is so widespread, and so much is expected of the Mining Bureau and the State Mineralogist, that it is a matter of regret that his work has been impeded for want of needed assistance in this department.
Since Mr. Edward Booth, the very efficient chemist employed during the first year of the Mining Bureau, was discharged for want of funds, nearly all the chemical work has been done in the private laboratory of the State Mineralogist, maintained at his own expense. The work has been considerable, but not in proportion to the requirements of the office. Some of the results will appear elsewhere in this report.
Very few volumes have been added to the library. Since the administration of the Board of Trustees a few valuable works have been purchased and a few acquired by donation.
The number of visitors to the museum has gradually increased. Since the removal to the new rooms the increase has been very noticeable.
The reports of this office, although below my standard, are much in demand, showing the interest taken by the world in our affairs. These reports should be made fuller and better with each issue; but this cannot be done until the State Mineralogist is furnished with more assistance and money with which to visit the localities in the State where valuable minerals are found. No matter how industrious he may be in collecting and arranging matter for his publications, unless he has clerical assistance to carefully revise the work, annoying and discreditable errors will be found when it is too late to correct them in the too hastily prepared reports. For these reasons the publications are not without certain crudities. If the most valuable parts of each volume were carefully revised, provided with maps and engravings, reprinted in one, and published officially, a volume would be so produced which might be given a wide circulation, to the advantage of the State.
SACRAMENTO STATE COLLECTION OF MINERALS.
There is at the Capitol, in the State Library, in rooms wanted for books, a large and valuable collection of minerals, which was purchased many years ago by the State at an expenditure of a considerable sum of money. It is my opinion that this collection should be joined to the one now in the Pioneer Building in San Francisco, to which it would form a fine supplement. Repeated efforts have been made to effect this union, but always with opposition. Still it seems to be the proper thing to join them.
Considerable work has been done and much data collected with a view to the publication of a preliminary geological map of the State, and a large
map in sections, on a scale of one centimeter to the mile, on which it was intended to mark the exact locality of all valuable minerals found in the State. It is to be hoped that this work will be continued. An appropriation of several thousand dollars would not be too much for this alone.
A portion of the third volume of the museum catalogue has been printed, which brings the numbers up to seven thousand. When the entries number nine thousand this volume will be put into book form by the State Printer.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME CALIFORNIA.
In preparing a history of the geological surveys and explorations of California, I frequently met with the statement that the name of our State was derived from a Spanish romance, published first in 1521. This was ignored or contradicted by other authors. I became very much interested in this subject, and wrote to the Librarian of the British Museum, asking him if there was such a work in his library. In due time a reply came from G. K. Fortescue, the Librarian, informing me that there was, and that in Chapter 157 the name California appears. Mr. Fortescue kindly offered to have the chapter copied for me, which I accepted, and received the chapter in Spanish, which follows this. I then applied to Mr. Camilo Martin, Consul for Spain, who made for me a literal translation, in which he aimed to reproduce in English the quaint idiom of the original.
In his first letter, Mr. Fortescue gave me certain references, which led to my finding in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, April 30, 1862, a paper on this same subject, by Edward Everett Hale, in which he quotes a few lines from the romance.
As the commander of the expedition sent out by Cortez did not discover Lower California until 1534, and as the romance was so popular that it passed rapidly through a number of editions, it is reasonable to infer that the name California had its origin in the fertile brain of the author. Mr. Hale seems to have been the first to discover and publish these facts.
LAS SERGAS del muy esforzado Caballero Esplandian, hijo del excelente Rey Amadis de Gaula.—Madrid, 1521.
Del espantoso y no pensado socorro con que la reina Calafia en favor de los turcos al puerto de
Constantinopla llegó. Quiero agora que sepais una cosa la mas extraña que nunca por escriptura ni por memoria de gente en ningun caso hallar se pudo, por donde el dia siguiente fué la ciudad en punto de ser perdita, y cómo de alli donde le vino el peligro le vino la salud. Sabed que a la diestra mano de las Indias hubo una isla, llamada California, muy llegada á la parte del Paraiso Terrenal, la cual fué poblada de mujeres negras, sin que algun varon entre ellas hubiese, que casi como las amazonas era su estilo de vivir. Estras eran de valientes cuerpos y esforzados y ardientes corazones y de grandes fuerzas; la insula en si la mas fuerte de riscos y bravas peñas que en el mundo se hallaba; las sus armas eran todas de oro, y tambien las guarniciones de las bestias fieras, en que, después de las haber amansado, cabalgaban; que en toda la isla no habia otro metal alguno. Moraban en cuevas muy bien labradas; tenian navios muchos, en que salian á otras partes á hacer sus cabalgadas, y los hombres que prendian llevábanlos consigo, dándoles las muertes que adelante oiréis. Y algunas veces que teinan paces con sus contrarios, mezclábanse can toda seguranza unas con otros, y habian ayuntamientos carnales, de donde se seguia quedar muchas dellas preñadas, y si parian varon, luego era muerto. La causa dello, según se sabia, era porque en sus pensamientos tenien firme de apocar los varones en tan pequeño número, que sin trabajo los pudiesen señorear, con todas sus tierras, y guardar aquellos que entendiesen que cumplia para que la generacion no pereciese.
En esta isla, California llamada, habia muchos grifos, por la grande aspereza de la tierra y por las infinitas salvajinas que en ella habitaban, los cuales en ninguna parte del mundo eran hallados; y en et tiempo que tenian hijos, iban estas mujeres con artificios para
los tomar, cubiertas todas de muy gruesos cueros, y traianlos à sus cuevas, y alli los criaban. Y siendo ya igualados, cebábanlos en aquellos hombres y en los niños que parian, tantas veces y con tales artes, que muy bien conocian à ellas, y no les hacían ningun mal. Cualquiera varon que en la isla entrase, luego por ellos era muerto y comido; y aunque hartos estuviesen, no dejaban por eso de los tomar y alzarlos arriba, volando por el aire, y cuando se enojaban de los traer, dejábanlos caer donde luego eran muertos. Pues al tiempo que aquellos grandes hombres de los paganos partieron con aquellas tan grandes flotas como la historia vos ha ya contado, reinaba en aquella isla California una reina muy grande de cuerpo, muy hermosa para entre ellas, en foreciente edad, deseosa en su pensamiento de acabar grandes cosas, valiente en esfuerzo y ardid de su bravo corazon, mas que otra ninguna de las que antes della aquel señorio mandaron. Y oyendo decir cómo toda la mayor parte del mundo se movia en aquel viaje contra los cristianos, no sabiendo ella que cosa era cristianos, ni teniendo noticia de otras tierras, sino aquellas que sus vecinas estaban, deseando ver el mundo y sus diversas generaciones, pensando que con la gran fortaleza suya y de las suyas, que de todo le que se ganase habria por fuerza ó por grado la mayor parte, habló con todas aquellas que en guerra diestras estaban, que seria bueno que, entrando en sus muy grandes flotas, siguiesen aquel viaje que aquellos grandes principes y altos hombres seguian; animándolas y esforzándolas, poniendoles delante las muy grandes honras y provechos que de tal camino seguirseles podrian, sobre todo con muy grande fama que por toda el mundo dellas seria sonada, que estando así en aquella isla, haciendo no otra cosa sino la que sus antecesores hicieron, no era sino estar como sepultadas en vida, como muertas viviendo, pasando sus dias sin fama, sin gloria, como los animales brutos hacien.
Tantas cosas les dijo aquella muy esforzada reina Calafia, que no solamente movió a sus gentes á consentir en el tal camino, mas ellas, con mayor deseo que sus famas por muchas partes divulgadas fuesen, le daban priesa que entrase en la mar luego, porque se hallesan en las afrentas, juntas con aquellos tan grandes hombres. La Reina, que la voluntad de las suyas vido, sin mas dilatar, mandó bastecer su grande flota de viandas y de armas todas de oro, y de todo lo demás necesario, y mandó reparar la mayor fusta de las suyas, hecha á manera de una red de gruesa madera, y hizo en ella meter hasta quinientos grifos, que, como ya se vos dijo, desde pequeños mandó criar y cebar en los hombres; y haciendo allí meter las bestias en que cabalgaban, que de diversas maneras eran, y todas las mas escogidas mujeres y mejor armadas que tenia en la flota, dejando tal recaudo en la isla con que segura quedase, y metióse ella las otras en la mar; y dióse tanta priesa, á las flotas de los paganos aquella noche que se os dijo del combate; con que todos ellos hubieron muy gran placer, y luego fué visitada de aquellos grandes señores, haciendole muy grande acatamiento. Ella quiso saber en qué estado estaba su hecho, rogándoles mucho que por extenso se lo contasen, y oida la relacion dello, dijo: “Vosotros habies combatido esta ciudad con vuestras grandes gentes, y no la pudistes tomar; pues yo con las mias, si á vosotros pluguiere, quiero el dia siguiente probar mis fuerzas á que bastarán, si quisieredes estar á ini consejo.” Todos aquellos grandes señores le dijeron que como por ella fuese señalado, que asi lo mandarian cumplir.
“Pues enviad luego a todos los otros capitanes que por ninguna manera salgan mañana ellos ni los sujos de sus estancias, hasta que por mi les sea mandado, y veréis un combate el mas extraño que hasta hoy nunca vistes, ni de que jamás pistes hablar.” Esto fué luego hecho saber al gran soldan de Liquia y al soldan de Halapa, que tenia cargo de todas las huestes que estaban en la tierra; los cuales así lo mandaron å todas sur gentes, maravillándose mucho á qué podria acudir el pensamiento y obra de aquella reina.
The Exploits of the very valiant Knight Esplandian, son of the excellent King Amadis of Gaul.-( Madrid, 1521.1
CHAPTER CLVII. The marvelous and not thought of succor with which the Queen Catafia came to the Port of Con
stantinople in favor of the Turks. I wish you now to know a thing the most strange which ever either in writing or in people's memory could be found, by which the city was the following day on the point of being lost, and how from there where the danger came, salvation came to it. Know then that to the right hand of the Indies, there was an island called California, very near the part of the terrestrial Paradise, and which was inhabited by black women, without there being among them even one man, that their style of living was almost like that of the Amazons. They were of robust bodies and valiant and ardent hearts and of great strength; the island itself was the strongest that could be found in the world through its steep and wild rocks; their arms were all of gold and also the harness of the wild beasts on which they rode after taming them, as there was no other metal in the whole island; they dwelled in well-finished caves; they had many ships in which they went to other parts to obtain booty, and the men whom they made prisoners they took along, killing them in the way you shall hear further on. And sometimes, when they were at peace with their adversaries, they used to mingle with them with entire confidence; if any of them gave birth to a son, he was put to death at once. The reason for it, as it was known, was because in their thoughts they were resolved to lessen the men to so small a number that they would be able to master them without much trouble, with all their lands, and preserve those who would understand that it was convenient to do so that the race might not perish.