Criminal Annals, Part 115 – Grand Larceny

Continuing in the September 14, 1852 edition of the Sacramento “Daily Union,” we find an article regarding a bit of larceny in Sacramento, the use of inmates to do work and the status of Mr. Collins, who was shot the previous day.

“COMMITTED ON A CHARGE OF GRAND LARCENY. – Henry Howard was examined before the Recorder yesterday, on a charge of Grand Larceny, alleged to have been committed by stealing the sum of $350 in slugs [$50 gold pieces], a gold watch and a pocket book from Anthony White about two weeks ago, at a Hotel at the corner of Seventh and I streets, and held to answer, at the Court of Sessions. His bail was fixed at $2000, and he failing to procure the same, was committed to the county prison.”

“THE NEW LEVEE has been fairly commenced. The Chain Gang were employed yesterday near the Court House in cutting stakes for the Surveyor, and in preparing the way for the foundation of the embankment. There is little doubt that the entire work will be completed before the rainy season sets in.”
Note: Flooding in Sacramento was a serious problem, being that much of the old part of town was at or below river level during high tide or storms. Ultimately a part of the city would be raised about 10 feet with dirt to reduce the problem.

“THOMAS COLLINS who was shot on Sunday night in a street fight by Joseph Stokes, still lives, but his friends have no hope of his recovery.”

In the same edition, under the “FROM THE INTERIOR” heading is a story about an unfortunate drowning in the Marysville area.



“The subjoined item is from the California Express [1851-1863] of Monday, delivered to us by Adams & Co. and Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Expresses.

“DROWNED. – A man was drowned in the Yuba river on Saturday afternoon, just below “Billy’s Baths,” whither he had gone to bathe. He could not swim, and the force of the current – which at this point runs very swift – carrying him beyond his depth, he was drowned before assistance could I be rendered him.

“Up to a late hour his body had not been found. We understand he had been engaged in the culinary department of a restaurant on I street, but were unable to learn his name. The sum of $10, we also understand, was found in his pantaloons pocket.

“P. S. – Since writing the above, we learn the body was fished up yesterday morning about a hundred yards below where he was last seen.”

The edition of September 15, 1852, has an interesting, and somewhat comical article regarding a trip to the mines. It is written by one Baron Vieux, whose name shows up in different places. He, or she, will write similar articles for the paper over the next few years.


“A Trip to the Mines.

“Baron, said my friends, why do you not go to the mines, and see the sources of Eureka’s wealth? On a day, no matter when it was, I did go to the mines.

“Should any one bent upon mineralogical or upon any other sort of discoveries, desire to be enlightened, we would commend that they should visit, as we did, a spot known as Sandy Bar. The first person singular – Murray – is vulgar, hence we adopt the we.

“On our mule we left Greenwood Valley – we would not mention aught touching our staging en route to the above mentioned villa, it is enough that the stage driver apologized for dropping us at that enchanting? town.

“Beefsteaks are supposed to be located in some part of the frame of a quadruped. It is a fallacy; they, who travel will learn that a tender loin extends from. the horn to the hoof.

“On a mule taking a cross cut over the mountains, we passed over ten miles without meeting the first symptom of humanity! and then it commenced raining and hailing, and we were sore alarmed. Finally, we came to a hill bearing the name of Hope Mount, from the fact, we infer, that everybody hopes to be from it as soon as possible.

“From this Hope Hill, we went to Sandy Bar, and it is useless for us to attempt describing our feelings in going, down said hill. Imagine a rope attached to a mule for pulling it on, and the mule expressing an inclination to go any but the route we were going – (sensible beast.)

“With toil and labor with the summer heat pouring upon us – with a desire for refreshing drinks – with a desire to turn back, with a mule who wouldn’t and who couldn’t, for want of space, we arrived at Sandy Bar, saw sporting men ‘doing’ the miners, doctors drawing teeth, ‘hombres’ fluming, people making pumps to dry up, the soil, heard musicians on various instruments, fed our mule on crackers and water, tried to sleep and couldn’t, imbibed various drinks, lost three fifties playing all- fours with a miner who turned up three jacks and never gave me a deal – waited until morning, found our animal and took to the hill – and if ever you catch us in that section of the country, again, what little wardrobe we have is yours.

[Signed] “Baron Vieux.”

In the same column with this story is short note about the immigrants arriving in the El Dorado County area.

“ PLEASANT.– Since the emigration has commenced to arrive from the plains, our town has received an accession of not less than fifty good families, and we may expect many more in the course of the next six weeks. We can now boast of having more ladies and children in our town than any other in the interior of the State. – El Dorado News.



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