Criminal Annals, Part 113 – From the Interior

The September 11, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union” has an article regarding the killing of a Chilean, followed by numerous articles regarding local news around the area.

“Through Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Express, we have received the Stockton Journal [1850-1854] of Friday. We clip from that paper the subjoined items:

“CHILENO KILLED. – From a gentleman who arrived in town yesterday, we learn that a Chileno was killed at a camp named Sutter [Creek], about eight miles from Mokelumne Hill, under the following circumstances: A Portuguese kept a stand at Sutter, and on Saturday last several Mexicans and Chilenos got drunk and became so outrageous that he declined selling them any more whiskey, and accordingly shut up shop. The Chileno who was killed, attempted to force the door, and was warned to desist. This he refused to do, and continuing his efforts to enter, the owner shot him through the door, which was of canvas, the ball entering the breast and killing him instantly. We understand that great excitement grew out of the deed, and a general fight was apprehended at one time, the Chilenos demanding that the Portuguese gentleman be submitted to a summary trial and execution at the hands of Judge Lynch. Threats were very freely made by the Chilenos that if the officers did not hang the culprit, they would; but as there is no news of his untimely strangulation, we conclude that they considered better of their duty as good Chilenos.”

“UNCERTAINTY – Flour was offering in our market on Saturday just at $30 per barrel, and on Monday morning, holders had advanced to $35. Bread is bread, now-a-days, but beans will make an excellent substitute before long. The disciples of Graham are in the ascendency at present.”

“There are six ‘fandango houses’ in successful operation in this city, at present. Bad wines and adulterated whiskey are in demand.”

“Our market is well supplied with water melons at present. They range from $50 to $75 per hundred.”

“THE RELIEF TRAIN. – We understand that Gen. Raines packed and sent off yesterday 24 mules to ‘Union Station,’ a post established this side of the Great Desert in July last. This locality is on Carson River, two hundred and fifty miles east of Sacramento. The supplies consist of a general assortment of provisions, medicines, &c. Gen. Raines commands the train in person, and after his arrival at the Station, it is said that he will immediately proceed to Capt. Bodley’s station on the Truckee route, where he will examine into the truth of the charges of corruption against that officer. The people of this State will look to the action of Gen. Raines with great interest, and while we hope he may have the independence necessary for the faithful performance of his duty, and in properly preventing and exposing the corruption that may exist, we shall if necessity requires be as severe in condemnation as we have been lavish in commendation.”

“CLEARANCES FOR CALIFORNIA. The Clearances from various American ports for California, during the first seven months of the present year, were 119 ships, 33 barks, 7 brigs, 1 schooner, and 7 steamers.; From foreign ports, 98 ships, 5 barks and 1 brig had cleared in the same time. The total number of clearances from Boston were 41, from New York 107, and from other American ports: 19.”

“LIST OF LETTERS. – A slip containing a complete list of the letters remaining in the Post Office in this city on the 1st inst., can be obtained at this office.”
Note: Letters sent to the mines were addressed to the person and a post office near where the sender believed the recipient might be. Since most mail came by sea, it took months and the person may have moved on to another location or even died. Newspapers would regularly list the uncollected mail at a given post office by name, when space allowed. In the mining areas riders would go to the major towns, such as Sacramento, and pick up miner’s mail for a price.

“THE IMMIGRATION. – A train of nine wagons arrived in town on Friday, and another of three wagons on yesterday. The vehicles were filled with women and children, and the teams were in remarkably good condition. Nearly all the stock now arriving is taken across the the river [Sacramento River] to recruit their exhausted frames upon the green grass of Cache and Putah creeks.”

“The Weekly Union. – We beg the indulgence of our readers for the non-appearance of the Weekly Union for the present week, but owing to the scarcity of paper, it has been impossible for us to supply our subscribers. We hope, however, to be relieved from our embarrassment within a very few days.”

In the edition of September 13, 1852 is found an article regarding sickness in the mining areas.

“SICKNESS IN THE MINES. – There has been during the last few days, and is now, considerable anxiety felt by many having friends in the mines, as to the health of various localities which have been reported sickly. From careful inquiry, we are convinced that accounts of the unhealthiness of the mines have been greatly exaggerated. As far as we can learn the mortality at Barton’s Bar, in Yuba county, is greatly on the decrease. At Salmon Falls, El Dorado County, there has been considerable sickness during the last ten days, and twenty or twenty-five persons have been suddenly swept away by a disease greatly resembling cholera, and pronounced such by some of the physicians of that place.

“There has also been a number of cases of congestive [usually malaria] and other fevers at Newcastle, Rosenkrans and other precincts of Placer county, but few of these have terminated fatally. With these exceptions we believe the general health in the mines is excellent.”



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