Criminal Annals, Part 122 – Calaveras Correspondence

Moving on to the September 20, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we find under “Calaveras Correspondence” an altercation between some Chileans and a young American.

“Calaveras Correspondence.

“Jackson, Sept. 18, 1852

“Messrs. Editors: – To-day being the anniversary of Chilean Independence, a large number of that nation congregated in our village, for the purpose of celebrating in a proper manner the birthday of their Republic. Everything went on harmoniously until I about one o’clock, p. m., when a difficulty occurred between one of them and a young American, by the name of Charles Thrall. The Chilean drew a pistol, and the American, being unarmed, was obliged to retreat; but, after procuring a revolver, and being on equal terms with his antagonist, an encounter occurred, which resulted in the Chilean receiving two wounds, one in the face and one in the shoulder, which are dangerous, if not mortal. Thrall was obliged to leave town immediately, hotly pursued by a large number of Chileans, who were in turn followed by all the Americans in our village who could procure horses. He succeeded in making his escape from his pursuers, who would have murdered him had they overtaken him. He is probably now in your city, and I understand is perfectly willing to I abide the result of a legal investigation of the matter. From all that I have learned relative to the matter, Thrall was perfectly justifiable in shooting the Chilean, and had he remained, would have not I only lost his own life in all probability, but there would have been a general fight between American’s and Chileans. As it is, much ill-feeling exists, which may result in something serious.
“I hear that disturbances have again broken out at Campo Seco, and that the Calaveras Guards, with the County Judge, will repair there to-morrow. – Many anticipate bloodshed and the inevitable result of all these excitements will be the ejectment of the Chileans, and perhaps other foreigners, from most of the mines of this county. This of course, will lead to retaliatory measures on their part, murders, robberies, &c, and for sometime to come I doubt not that the journals of California will teem with. accounts of scenes of violence in Calaveras county. We hope for, but scarcely expect, a different result.

“I will keep your readers advised of every event of importance that takes place here.

[signed] “S. N.”

This is followed by notes from several locales, under the usual “From the Interior” heading.



“ From the News we extract the following:

“POSTAL. – Postmaster at this place sent by the steamer of the 16th, for the Atlantic States, the following list of letters : Unpaid 807; paid by stamps 291; paid by money 326. Total 1433. Amounting, in all. to $123 70.

“ It will be seen by this that our Postoffice business has increased one half in the last two months.”

Note: The early newspapers printed monetary amounts with a space between dollars and cents, rather than a period.

Continuing with the article, “GEORGETOWN. – This little mountain village, it will be recollected, but a short time since was entirely consumed by the devouring element, and scarcely has the smoke of the fire ceased to curl above the green lofty pines that surround it, than we see the finest structures of the artisan rearing up, as it were with gigantic speed. Truly, this is a progressive age. But a few days since, nothing but desolation marked the places where now are to be seen many of the finest buildings that adorn this farfamed country. Those countenances that but yesterday spoke of trouble and dismay, are now beaming with joy and gladness.

“The prospects of Georgetown are indeed flattering, and judging from the rapid strides already , made, it will soon vie with any of its sister villages.


“From the weekly Placer Herald [Auburn (1852- 1966); Rocklin (1966- present)] of last Saturday, we extract the following items:

“CELESTIAL LYNCHING. – On Monday last, a Chinaman was caught in the act of robbing a store in this city, which he bad entered through the window. – The proprietor turned him over to his countrymen, who tied him up and whipped him until be was finally rescued by some of our citizens. They seemed exceedingly zealous in punishing the offence, each one taking a hand at the flogging as they had occasion to pass that way.

“MINING NEWS. – We learn that a number of mining companies on the Placer side of the Middle fork are doing extremely well, and some of them making big strikes. The Sub-Marine company, numbering thirteen men, were averaging over $3,000 per day at last accounts and have reached as high as $4,000 in one day. The Macatee company numbers three men and is averaging $3,000 per week.

“This reminds one of the good old days of ’49 in real earnest. We are expecting every day to receive a few specimens.

“HEARTBREAKING CALAMITY. – At Volcano Bar, on the 6th inst., as Mr. Urial Logsden was passing from the residence of Mr. McKay, where he, with his wife and three small children were stopping, a log rolled down the mountains from above, some quarter of a mile, struck one hundred and fifty feet above the house, bounded over the same, and struck directly across Mr Logsden, crushing him in the most shocking manner, scarcely leaving him in the human shape.

“Mr. L. had but a few days fore arrived over the plains with his family; his wife now being in a delicate situation, and not even the wherewith to provide food for her children, the youngest of which is not yet two years old.

“At a meeting of the miners upon the bar, a committee was appointed for the purpose of raising means to provide for the widow and orphans, and send them home to their friends in the States, as soon as the situation of Mrs. Logsden will permit.”



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