Criminal Annals, Part 86 – El Dorado County News

In the May 3, 1852 edition of the “Daily Union,” below last week’s story about Weaverville and the Indian problems, there is a whole column devoted to various kinds of news from El Dorado County.


“Through Hunter & Co’s Express, we have received the News of Saturday. That Journal has an article sustaining the views of Gov. Bigler on the Cooley question. We condense the following additional news from that paper:

“FATAL AFFRAY. – At White Oak Springs on Thursday, a difficulty occurred which resulted in the death of one of the parties, named Spencer. Great excitement prevailed among those who were present, and at the last accounts, runners were out of the purpose of calling in the miners to try him.

“STATE ROAD TO CARSON VALLEY. – The new pass in the mountains called ‘Johnson’s Pass,’ is absorbing the attention of many persons interested in facilitating the ingress of the immigrants from the east, who will arrive the ensuing season via Carson Valley. The new route offers a comparatively easy exit from the valley – the indentation in the mountain in forming the pass, being one of the most remarkable and convenient for the construction of a road on record. The whole route is said to offer superior inducements for feed and water for animals.

“The South Fork of the American is passed a few miles above the mouth of Silver Fork. The descent is gradual, and can be accomplished with ease.

“The length of the new road from the Mormon Station to Placerville is but 90 miles.

“The miners on the Cosumnes, thirty miles south east of Placerville, are averaging from eight to ten dollars per day. The place is called Lyons Canon.

“The last number of the News is embellished with a beautifully executed wood cut of the valley of Coloma and Sutter’s Mill.

“Miss Carpenter, the actress, is giving dramatic readings a la Fanny [Fannie] Kemble Butler, at Hangtown.”

Note: Frances Anne “Fannie” Kemble was an English actress from a famous acting family. She toured the United States giving Shakespearian readings. She retired and married Pierce Butler, of Georgia, who inherited his fathers plantations and slaves. Kemble became a staunch abolitionist and published her journal/diary about living amongst slavery. The two were divorced and she went back to acting in the late 1840s.

The May 4, 1852 edition of the Daily Union has an interesting story about a meeting in Auburn regarding the “Asiatic” problem. The resolution adopted at that meeting is very strong and points out that they, relying on the rights reserved by the people in the Constitution of the United States of America, can take matters into their own hands if the California Legislature fails to act.
Because of their location, many of the people in the far northern part of El Dorado County associated more closely with Placer County.
“At a meeting of the citizens of Placer county, held at Auburn agreeably to notice, May 2d, 1852, on motion of Col. C. W. Finley was appointed Chairman, and A. M. Merrick, Secretary.
“Hon. P. W. Thomas opened the meeting by reading the call for said meeting, and explaining the object for which it was called. The meeting was consequently addressed by J. S. Christy, J. E. Hale, A. Brouk, Esq., and others, and the following resolutions unanimously adopted:
“WHEREAS, the present influx into the mines, of a very large number of ‘Asiatics,’ and the almost certainty that the present season will see a much larger number imported into the State, unless speedy and effectual means are made use of to prevent it; and whereas this condition of things is calculated to materially injure the mining interests of the citizens of California, and the prospects of American citizens who may come hither. Therefore, be it
“Resolved, That we consider Legislative action proper and necessary in making and applying a remedy to this evil, and that we earnestly recommend our Legislature to enact such laws as will amount to a prohibition on the importation of Asiatics; particularly the ‘Coolies’ and that stamp, into the State, and prevent those already here from mining privileges in the country.
“Resolved, That we most heartily approve of the last Special Message of Gov. Bigler, recommending to the Legislature immediate action upon this subject.
“Resolved, That if our Legislature refuse to enact such laws as will protect us from these evils, or are unable from the closing of the session or otherwise to enact them, much as we respect our Government and our laws – much as we depreciate aught that would affect in the least the dignity and rule of civil law, we are deeply sensible that the magnitude of the evil and the exigency of circumstances will compel us to defend ourselves, justified by the reserved rights which every man and community in our Republic has, and must have, retained for self-preservation.
“On motion it was
“Resolved, That a committee of twenty-three be chosen to call a County Convention.
“The following gentlemen were appointed said committee, viz: J. F. Hale, J. S. Christy, E. J. Pike, P. W. Thomas, Otis Whitcomb, John Nye, M. W. George, John Stead, W. D. Smith, Dr. Slater, Dr. Walton Todd, Jas. B. Crawford, Dr. Hawthorn, Mr. Gruly, Mr. Wynans, Benj. Adams, Mr. Reed, A. A. Brouk, Capt. Kidd, Joseph Welkup, Mr. Barnes.
“On motion, Col. C. W. Finley and A. M. Merrick, were added to the committee.
“Resolved, That the Secretary forward a copy of the proceedings of this meeting to the Senator and Representatives in the Legislature from this county.
“Resolved, that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the public journals of Sacramento City, with a request for others to copy.
“Voted to adjourn the meeting to two weeks from to-day, at 2 o’clock, P. M.
“C. W. FINLEY, Chairman. A. M. MERRICK, Secretary.”


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