Monday, February 26, 2018

The Wreck of the Frolic, 1850

The Frolic was large for a Baltimore Clipper. She was rigged as a brig, her two raked masts each carrying square yards. Although no plans have survived, she is known to have carried a great spread of sail. Her builders, the Gardner Brothers, were among the best of the Baltimore yards.

Baltimore was known worldwide as the home of fast sailing vessels. And yes, The Baltimore Clipper was developed in the early 1800s for speed.

The Frolic should not be confused with the USS Frolic. That name has been used more than once by the U.S. Navy over the years starting with the USS Frolic (1813). The USS Frolic was a sloop of war in active service until captured by the British during the War of 1812. There was also the USS Frolic, a side wheel steamer in commission as USS Advance (1862) from 1864 to 1865, and as USS Frolic from 1865 to 1869, from 1869 to 1870, from 1872 to 1874, and from 1875 to 1877. There was also a USS Frolic (1892), a patrol yacht in commission in 1898, from 1900 to 1906, and from 1906 to 1907. There was even an S.S. Frolic (SP-1336) that was a schooner in the Navy's non-commissioned service from 1917 to 1918. 

Built at Baltimore in 1844, the Frolic was a wind powered brig owned by Augustine Heard and Company of Boston. While some records show her are 88 feet long with a 24 foot beam and displaced 212 tons, other records say she measured 97 feet on deck, 24 feet of beam and was registered at 209 tons. She was a ship made for a dangerous trade where speed mattered. 

That dangerous trade was not one for the faint of heart. She was designed to run opium from India to China. The opium trade required vessels fast enough to outrun pirates and trade rivals, as well as make passages against prevailing monsoon winds. It is said that the Frolic was an exceptional vessel, and her pedigree was second to none when compared to the common herd which came to California. Her captain was Edward Horatio Faucon.  

The Frolic, a former opium-runner, was sailing from Hong Kong to San Francisco with a 26-man crew composed of Portuguese-speaking Lascars from India, Malays from modern-day Indonesians, and Chinese. Her master, Captain Edward Horatio Faucon was the same man Richard Henry Dana admired and had made famous as the captain of the Pilgrim in his 1840 classic, Two Years Before the Mast.

Captain Faucon was en route to a San Francisco that had changed greatly since the days of the hide-and-tallow trade. Aboard the Frolic was an emporium of Chinese goods intended for sale in the inflated economy of a booming San Francisco which included many Chinese. Her hold was packed tightly with ornately decorated camphor trunks, fine-colored silks, shiny lacquered ware, tables with inset marble tops, gold filigree jewelry, 21,000 porcelain bowls, candied fruits, silver tinderboxes, a prefabricated two-room house with oyster shell windows, toothbrushes, mother-of-pearl gaming pieces, ivory napkin rings, horn checkers, tortoise shell combs, silk fans, and scores of nested brass weights used by San Francisco merchants to measure their goods. Everything was made in China except 6,109 bottles of Edinburgh ale, brought along to inspire thirsty California gold diggers. Of all the cargo, the ale had come the farthest, nearly two-thirds of the way around the globe.

At 9:30p.m. on July 25th, 1850, the Frolic with her topgallants and topsails set approached the treacherous Mendocino coast. Her captain was intent on reaching the California Gold Rush and San Francisco after sailing 6,000 miles from China. 

As the first officer studied the clear moonlit mountains still 20 miles away, the ship drew closer to offshore rocks hidden by the fog ahead of them. Seeing the danger, the first officer rushed below to alert the captain.

But it was too late. As the ship turned vainly to port, her stern struck a rock, snapping off the rudder and splintering open the hull. The ship ran aground on submerged rocks, tearing a hole in her hull and snapping off the rudder, according to a report by Captain Edward Horatio Faucon. The wreck was just south of Point Cabrillo.

This was the Frolic's last voyage. She had run aground just north of Point Cabrillo, between the present-day communities of Fort Bragg and Mendocino up the California coast  about 100 miles north of San Francisco.

It is said that six of the crewmen refused to come down from the rigging, but the rest managed to board two boats and row six miles south to the mouth of Big River. 

Once there Captain Faucon and his crew hiked inland for two miles but found no one. And since one of the long boats leaked badly and most of the crew wanted to travel by land, Captain Faucon, two officers, and four oarsmen with a sick Malay rowed the other boat left all the way to Bodega Bay which is just north of San Francisco. It's said that they slept on beaches and ate mussels for stave off hunger. 

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Faucon or his crew, the Frolic was discovered by Mitom Pomo Indians who salvaged ginger jars full of candied kumquats, ginger and among other things, and carried them inland to their camps and villages. 

Within hours of Captain Faucon arriving in San Francisco, he was interviewed by the Daily Alta California. The story which appeared the next day ended by saying, "Captain F. reached this place yesterday...The Frolic was bound to this place with a valuable cargo of Chinese goods. The loss is estimated to be about $150,000."

Just for the record, $150,000 in 1850 is the equivalent of more than $4,450,000 in 2017. And as for the rest of his crew? To this day no one knows what became of those that stayed behind. That still remains a mystery.

And while some say they were taken captive by Indians, others say they got lost and died from starvation. Either way, those that stayed behind were never seen or heard of again. And to add to the mystery, it's said that they left without taking weapons, clothing, or provisions -- they simply disappeared. 

The San Francisco Maritime Museum calls the Frolic "the most significant shipwreck on the West Coast." The story of the Frolic was researched by Dr. Thomas Layton, an archaeologist and head of the anthropology department at San Jose State University.

The significance of the wreck was that the eventual salvage attempt led to the discovery of the redwood forest. The attempt at salvage failed, but the harvesting of the redwoods led to the creation of towns and mills along the Mendocino coast.

Divers discovered the wreck in the 1950s. It was initially thought to be a Chinese junk. In 2003 and 2004 there were formal archaeological survey projects to document the shipwreck. The site is now a California State Underwater Park.

It is said that 125 years after the wreck of the Frolic, an archeological dig of a Pomo Indian Village on Three Chop Ridge near Willits, California, turned up shards of Chinese pottery. It was a true mystery. No one knew how the Pomo had Chinese pottery. The mystery was solved when the connection was made to the Frolic.

This has been compiled from many sources.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Glencoe, California -- The Fun Side Of The River

Back in July of 1958, Ruby E. Taylor wrote this about Glencoe nestled in Calaveras County's Gold Country:

Glencoe, a small town of around 100 voters with a school, a post office, and store is situated about nine miles east of Mokelumne Hill. In the early days it was known as Mosquito Gulch. The early settlers mined the gulch. And on account of the marsh-land and so many water holes the mosquitoes flourished and there seemed to be more mosquitoes here than anywhere around. There were steep hills all around running down to the gulch. The first locations were taken up and the houses built right along the creek.

George W. Berry operated a store on the south side of Mosquito Gulch in 1879. Jerome Burt and son, Bill, operated a store on the north side of the Mosquito Gulch about the same time and on, until after the turn of the century. Burt’s General Store was a two-story wood structure with a post office and store room on the ground floor and a dance hall upstairs. The stairs leading up to the dance hall were on the outside of the building.

At one time the Mosquito Gulch School in the 7th District took in all the land to the east, including Rail Road Flat and Independence. This District No. 7 was divided on November 7th, 1866, under Dr. F. D. Borston, and the eastern half was called Eureka School District, which later became Rail Road Flat School District.

The gravel was very rich along Mosquito Gulch and many thousands of dollars were taken out with the crude hand mining of that day. After the placer mining, came the hard rock mines.

On Three-Cent Flat, about two miles from the main town, there were coal pits where coal was made by burning oak wood under the ground for several weeks. The coal was used by blacksmiths for sharpening mining tools. A man by the name of Benj. Franklin Woodford, nicknamed "Old Jerd," had several coal pits on the Orion Ames ranch.

After the mining had slowed up many people homesteaded small farms and ranches. This was about 1880. These names of ranchers are familiar to all old-timers: Wm. Woodcock, Bartolo Malaspina, Orion Ames, Paul Kenner, Butcher John Etcheverry, John Ames, Francis Fairchild, Swen Danielson, Pete Albers, Stodzer, Richard McNamara, Henry Prackel and the Green Meadow Farm owned by the Wilcox family. All these ranches raised an abundance of fruit, especially pears, apples, quinces, plums, cherries, peaches, grapes, berries and walnuts. These thrifty farmers raised almost entirely everything they ate.

Joe Woodcock entered the lumbering and sawmill business and used oxen to do the logging.

Numerous Indians roamed the hills at this time, and in the fall and spring of the year bands of 300 to 500 Indians, men, women, and children, would camp on the Orion Ames ranch near what they called "cold spring." They gathered acorns for winter. There are still the big ledges of slate rock on the old Orion Ames ranch upon a high hill where the Indians left round deep holes in which they ground the acorns to make acorn bread. The pestles are all packed away but the holes in the big rocks are still there as mute evidence of Indian camping grounds.

Just down on another side hill on the Green Meadow Farm was the Indian burying grounds. When my father would plough these side hills the children would find loads of Indian beads, arrowheads, and other Indian relics. Old Emma, Old Indian Susie, Indian Dick, and some others were more civilized in later years and would come to the white man’s house to beg food which was always given to them.

Another mineral in this section was soapstone. A long mountain of soapstone is on the old Orion Ames ranch about two miles southeast of Glencoe on the Rail Road Flat Road. This soapstone was sawed into blocks and sold to miners and sawmills to encase the boilers. Many ranchers used it to make fireplaces in the early homes.

-- excerpt above from Ruby Taylor’s Glencoe History, by Ruby E. Taylor, Las Calaveras, July 1958.

Glencoe is number 280 on the list of California Historical Landmarks. I tried contacting the State of California about getting the marker for our town. I thought it would add a sense of history more than there already is. Besides, I thought it would make others here feel good. 

When I spoke to a representative of the State of California about it. I was met with an interesting attitude. The state employee that I'd spoke with said that Glencoe's Historical Marker would have to be "reexamined and looked at again" to find out if we "really deserved it." I got so angry at his condescending attitude that I told the individual what he could do with his marker! 

Formerly known as "Mosquito Gulch", Glencoe started out as a mining town. The "business portion" of our "town" was actually on the north side of Mosquito Gulch. Sadly, none of the old buildings remain today.

The first mines are said to have been worked by Mexicans in the early 1850s using "arrastres" or dragging. Though some placer mining was done here, quartz mining was the main focus of mining efforts in these parts. The Good Hope Mine itself was said to have had an 18-stamp mill by 1873. Other mines in Glencoe included the Sierra King, Sierra Queen, Monte Cristo, Blue Jay, Mexican, San Bruno, Blue Bell, the Oriental, and several others.

In the 1890s, Glencoe was still dependent on mining. But during that time, ranching and farming did in fact become the dominant industries. Most families practiced what can only be called a mixed agricultural economy as they raised cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry. Besides supplying themselves with a steady supply of meats, wool, hides, and eggs, they also grew their own vegetable gardens and orchards. And by the way, many here today raise their own beef, sheep, hogs, and poultry, and still grow our own vegetables and keep our own orchards.

While back in the day, livestock was the backbone of the agricultural industry in this county, upcountry grazing of cattle, sheep, and goats was taking place as early as 1849. During the hot summers it was not unusual for livestock herds to be moved to the mountains, and then returned to the valley below before winter sets in.

As with today, vineyards produced wines and brandies for personal use and for sale in this area. Commercial winemaking here in this county began in 1851 when 1,000 vines arrived via the Calaveras River. In parts of the county, hops were grown and baked in kilns for breweries to produce beers and ales. It doesn't take much to find olive orchards that were also grown for both family and commercial use.

The way of the world is not hard to really understand. In so far as the Gold Rush in this area goes, as mining declined something had to take it's place. Farming and ranching filled that need. It gained importance as family businesses and filled the need of supplying food.

Besides ranching and farming, logging came in a close third place. Today, many ranchers and farmers are still in this area. As for lumber, it too is still around. It's said lumber from this area played a vital role in America's war effort during World War II. Of course, it also played a huge role in the housing boom that took place at the end of the war and into the 1950's and 1960's.

For many years now, logging has been under attack by radical Environmentalists who have tried to shut down logging efforts here. Thankfully, the people who live and work here are resilient and have beaten back their attacks.

As stated before, the town were initially named "Mosquito Gulch." Actually, I found that the first post office that was opened here was named "Mosquito" in 1858. It closed in 1869. It was re-opened as "Mosquito Gulch" in 1873. The name was changed to "Glencoe" in 1912. The post office closed again in 1916, but then re-opened in 1947.

Glencoe was named after a historic village in Scotland. That village in Scotland was the site of the Glencoe Massacre back in February of 1692. 

The Glencoe Massacre or "The Massacre of Glencoe" took place in the Highlands of Scotland. It was the slaughter of 38 men of the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe. They were killed by English troops which the government had billeted in their homes. As pre-arranged, the soldiers systematically killed all of the men who they were living with. It's said that another 40 or more Scottish women and children later died of exposure due to the winter snow after they had fled and their homes were burned to the ground by the English troops. 

What took place in Glencoe, Scotland, had a profound affect on America. It is reflected in our Bill of Rights. It's true. Because of what took place there in Glencoe, the Third Amendment (Amendment III) to the United States Constitution places restrictions on the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent. It actually forbids the practice in peacetime. 

The horrible lessons of what took place in Glencoe, Scotland, was not lost on our Founding Fathers. It is said that Amendment III is a direct response to the Quartering Act of 1774 that was passed by the British parliament during the days leading up to the Revolutionary War. The Brits wanted to put soldiers of the British Army in private residences including in alehouses and inns where Americans gathered. It was the English response to the Boston Tea Party. 

But knowing what took place in Glencoe, Scotland, and not ever wanting it to happen here, the forced quartering of troops is actually cited as one of the colonists' grievances in the Declaration of Independence.

Today, Scots from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe come to visit their tiny namesake here in the Sierra foothills to celebrate our bond and history. The sounds of bagpipes are heard wafting through the hills each February and all are welcome to attend the festivities. 

Like the old hotel and dance hall, the old school is gone. The old Glencoe store which once also housed the post office is there, but not really. What's holding it up is really anyone's guess. It has been closed for years. A modern post office has replaced it years ago. 

We are located on Highway 26 about 9 miles northeast of the town Mokelumne Hill, about 7 miles southwest of the town of West Point, and about 7 miles north of the town of Rail Road Flat. And today the sign entering Glencoe states that we have a population of 189 and that our elevation is 2,720.  

Our main hub for goods and such is the town of Jackson about 18 miles northeast of us. Our "town" of Glencoe is more of a berg than an actual town. In reality, in my travels I've seen Ghost Towns that have larger populations than we do.  

We really only have two public buildings in use. We have a post office and our wonderful American Legion Post 376. While we are always being threatened with the possibility of the Postal Service shutting down our post office, our American Legion post is the center of all activity in our area. And please, don't be fooled by the numbers as we are an active community. 

In fact, for a place with an official population of less than 200, I've seen events at our Legion where we draw hundreds of people from all over the extended area including Jackson, San Andreas, Valley Springs, and even folks as far away as the town of Ione. I've seen what looked to be many hundreds attend a benefit to support a friend in need. And if we need more parking, all we do is open the pasture gates to a neighbor's property. They don't mind us using that pasture, and we're grateful for that and more. 

It wasn't that long ago that many of us came to the conclusion that we are "the fun side of the river." No matter if it's crossing the Mokelumne River at whatever point you'd like to, it's true. We are the fun side of the river. 

Our post is used for everything from a place where we meet and discuss county issues, to what seems as our endless number of events such as Bar-B-Q's and parties. Yes, "any reason for a party" is a common train of thought for folks in these parts as we celebrate something every month. And why not? People up here work hard and fight the odds to make it. They deserve to unwind and feel a sense of community and laugh a little.  

Calaveras County may be known for Mark Twain's famous "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" story. His yarn about jumping frogs was turned into an annual fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee years ago. Calaveras County is said to be rich with Gold Rush history, stories of Black Bart and Mark Twain, and we even have some of the biggest redwood trees in the entire world, those Giant Sequoia over at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. 

The gold found here was so uncommon a gold telluride mineral that when it was discovered in this county in 1861, it was called "Calaverite gold" because it was only found here. 

The word "Calaveras" is a Spanish word meaning "skull." The name was first given to the Calaveras River because of the hundreds of human skulls that were found along the river when the first Spanish explorers arrived. Those skulls were the remnants of wars waged between Indian tribes long before Europeans every step foot on American soil. 

Yes, Calaveras County is famous for its gold country and much more including the largest gold nugget ever found in the United States. A nugget that was taken from the Morgan Mine at Carson Hill in 1854. While Carson Hill is actually listed as a Ghost Town in Calaveras County, the nugget found there is said to have weighed 200 pounds. Some say 214 pounds.

But even with that all being true, to me and others here, Glencoe is the best place to live in these mountains. As for politics, Glencoe is no different than most all of Calaveras Country. We are so Conservative, it's said "Even our trees lean to the right" in Calaveras County. That's probably why the people here are good, genuine, loving, hard working folks. They raise their children right and straight, teach them how to thank the Lord, and are there for their neighbors for whatever reason that may arise.

How we care about each other was never more evident than during the Butte Fire in 2015. It was a fire that even "Old Timers" around here had never seen the likes of. And later, looking at the burn map and how the fire consumed over 70,000 acres of Calaveras County, I believe God spared Glencoe as the fire literally horseshoed around us.  

I have traveled all over our great nation. I have loved areas of this country for it's beauty and its wonderful people. I've been welcomed in homes of people who hardly knew me, and I've met strangers who treated me like an old friend. I've been to towns that I'd love to return to, and cities that I hope I never see again.

In fact, in some places, like say Austin, Texas, I've met snobs that were so condescending that their piss poor attitude of looking down on others seemed to be just their enjoyment. Because of those folks, I can say that I hope I never return to those cities. Fact is Austin is not "The West". It is really no different than San Francisco. They have a great deal in common, especially their know-it-alls who are all too willing to tell others how to live. And worse, correct others about things they have absolutely no knowledge of.

Actor James Cagney once said, "The things the world most needs are simplicity, honesty and decency -- and you find them more often in the country than in the city. My feeling for the country goes beyond sense. I don't like to be in the cities at all."

Like Cagney, I'll take small towns and the country everyday. And really, that's what I like about Glencoe. There's no such thing as snobs or big city attitudes such as I found all over Austin and other big cities that I've visited. We simply don't have fake people making believe they're better than others.

As a place to live, Glencoe is a place where stress is low and feeling good about life is high. It's where one can go hunting and fishing when the feeling strikes him. A place with dirt bike trails that seem to wind every which way through the hills. A place where a cowboy and cowgirl can saddle up and freely ride the back-country to their heart's content. It's a place where kids and family are priorities.

It's a place where deer, fox, mountain lion, bobcat, bear, coyote, and other critters can be found. It's where folks know the words to "The Lord's Prayer" without a Pastor leading them in prayer. It's where everyone is armed and unafraid to respond to calls for help from neighbors. It's where there's no question if people would help a Sheriff's Deputy in trouble. That's just a given.

It's a place where favors are done out of the goodness of one's heart. Where people are free to be themselves, and no one cares about what you drive or how much money you have in the bank. Although a new tractor on your property may make one the talk of the town.

Glencoe is a place where your word is prized, the word "friend" means family, and a handshake is firm. It's where a great story is welcome, but scammers are not. It's a place where honesty is important if you want to be trusted. Where decency and respect for others is admired, and living a simple life is encouraged.

This is a place where changing for others who just got here is just not going to happen. It's a place where strangers are welcome. And are asked to fit in, if they want to stay. Fitting in and loving America are pretty much all we ask around here. Loving America is actually a pretty big deal around here. I like that. Most around here do as well.   

And while this is the fun side of the river with all of it's goings on, I'm thankful we're America's best kept secret. And yes, I feel blessed to live here.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Sunday, February 18, 2018

News From California -- November 11th, 1857

The following articles are from The Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 14, Number 2068, November 11th, 1857:


We are indebted to the Alta Express and to Wells, Fargo and Co. for copies of the Amador Ledger, Extra, containing a full account of the atrocious murder and robbery of Martin V. B. Griswold near Jackson, California, on Saturday morning, November 7th.

The murder took place at the house of Horace Kilham, in whose employ Mr. Griswold had been for several years. Mr. Kilham had been absent from home for some days, and on his return, on Saturday afternoon, he was astonished to find his house empty, and Griswold and the Chinese cook, (the only inmates he had left there) gone. 

He soon made the discovery that his safe had been robbed of from $2,500 to $5,000. It has been since ascertained that one of his neighbors had $500 or $600 deposited in the safe, at the time of the robbery. The matter was speedily communicated to neighbors, but no great fear of the safety of Griswold was felt until Sunday afternoon.

Search had been made about the premises to discover his body if he had been murdered and concealed ; but it was not until evening, when Mr. Kilham and other friends became seriously alarmed, that the body was found concealed beneath the bed of the Chinese cook. 

There is no question, says the Ledger, but that the murder had been in contemplation for at least two weeks, and perhaps longer; and it is equally certain that the perpetrators of the deed were the Chinese cook employed at the house, assisted by two of his countrymen as confederates, with perhaps an extensive gang or company of Chinamen to ilia re (thereabouts of place) the profits of their horrid crime. 

An inquest was held by George S. Smith, the acting Coroner, and for the testimony elicited. vs  select the following statements. Dr. Hoover testified as follows: Griswold. death was caused by contused wound on the head. His skull was fractured on the back part of the head. The parietal bone was broken in by some blunt instrument, which was sufficient to create death. The wound might have been made by the piece of lead or slung-shot, which is here exhibited. 

There were three other contused wounds on the head. The skull was not fractured except in the instance already stated. These wounds might have been inflicted by the same instrument. The cord here exhibited was drawn with two half hitches around the neck, sufficiently tight to produce strangulation and death, without reference to the blows upon the head and the fracture of tho skull. From the appearance of the body the deceased came to his death from violence of the foulest character. 

F. A. Mc Martin testified to the finding of the body, us before stated, and added: "I recognize the leaden slung-shot here exhibited, as the one which I saw the Chinaman employed by Mr. Kilham as cook, grinding upon a grindstone, at Mr. Kilham's, about two weeks since, and wondered at the time what he meant to do with such a piece of lead." 

Elson Short, who passed by Mr. Kilham's house on Saturday forenoon, testified to having seen two shabbily dressed Chinamen standing under the stoop, and the Chinese cook inside the door. 

Several other witnesses were examined, after which the jury rendered their verdict, as follow: We find that Martin V. B. Griswold was foully murdered at the house of H. Kilham on the 7th of Nov. 1857, and that he came to his death by four severe blows on the head, supposed to be given by a slung-shot that was found in the Chinaman's (cook's) room. 

There was a cord drawn tight around his neck, which was sufficient to have caused his death without the blows on the head. The deceased is supposed from the evidence before the jury to have been murdered by the Chinese cook employed by Mr. H. Kilham, with his accomplices. 

The Ledger says:  From the facts already known, the conclusion is irresistibly arrived at that the plot to commit the robbery and murder was a deep-laid one, and that the Chinese cook was the leading spirit. — The degree of coolness which he manifested in making his preparations — for instance, in the manufacture of the slung-shot, which was beyond a doubt- the instrument with which the skull was fractured is astonishing. 

The plot was as ingenious as diabolical, and furnishes the strongest evidence that his murder is not the first one committed by the guilty parties. There are many known facts that do not appear in the testimony, that go strongly to fasten guilt upon the cook, and the two other Chinamen who were seen at the house shortly before the enactment of the tragedy; but there were so many evidences existing at the premises and in view of the jury, that further testimony upon which to find the verdict they did find would have been superfluous. 

The murder was undoubtedly committed between 9 and 10 o'clock, Saturday morning. The two strange Chinamen, in the garb of miners, doubtless had provided themselves with a little dust, which they offered for sale; and while Griswold was stooping over weighing or blowing it, or making a calculation of its value, he was struck in the back of the head, and the cord immediately placed and drawn tight about his neck to prevent all danger of his giving alarm, and also to prevent bleeding. 

He was dragged to the cook's room and hid away under the bed, in order that the murderers might have, as they doubtless hoped, two or three days at least the start of discovery. The board spoken of in the testimony was nailed to the bed to hide the corpse after it was stowed away. Marks of blood on the bed-rail, over which the board was nailed, could only have been put there while the villains were pushing the corpse under and before the board was nailed on. A large club evidently prepared for the use of one of the murderers if the slung-shot should fail of its purpose, was found under the bed with the murdered man.

The manner in which the cord was found around the deceased is an exact representation of the choking process by which the murderous "Thugs"in China, or Chinese Tartary, commit their villainous atrocities — throwing their noose over the necks of their victims and choking them so quickly that resistance is out of the question.

Mr. Griswold himself, some time since, observed the Chinaman making his slung-shot, and spoke of it casually to Mr. Kilham, little thinking, however, that it was being prepared for him.

The last seen of the cook was at ten o'clock am Saturday, in Jackson. This time two Chinamen hired horses at Perrin's livery stable, under pretense of going to the Q Ranch, but neither Chinamen nor horses have been heard of. One of these Chinamen was the cook. Much excitement prevails among the people, and numbers are scouring the country in pursuit of the murderers. The cook and one of the other Chinamen are well known to numerous persons in this place, and it is sincerely to be hoped that they may be captured. We hear that a reward of one thousand dollars has been offered.

Mr. Griswold was well known and highly respected. He left Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1848, and went to Oregon and came from there to California In 1849. He was about forty years of age.

Three Chinamen were caught and two hanged. One committed suicide.

Next story ...
Lynch Law 

A few days since, some miners at French Hill, near Camp Seco, caught two Chinamen robbing their sluice boxes, for which they gave them fifty lashes each upon the bare back, and deprived them of their tails - cutting them off. 

At Mokelumne Hill, says the Chronicle of Nov. 7th, the Johns caught one of their countrymen stealing, whereupon they tied him up to a tree, and gave him a regular administration of the Judge Lynch code in the shape of stripes well laid on.

Next story ...
Shocking Murder

Robert Brown Ripley was choked to death over a card table, on the 20th of September, at Scottsville, Virginia, by a boat builder named Carroll. Cheating is suspected.

Next story ...
Crime in Oroville 

The police report of Oroville for the month ending Nov. 5th, exhibits 43 arrests: Drunks, 23; Assault and Battery, 11; Burglary, 2; Violation of city ordinance, 2; Larceny, 4 ; Murder, 1. 

The Record says: "This exhibits as refined and city-like propensities on the part of our crime-committing population as any city or town the size of this in the Union. As an evidence of our prosperity and the efficiency of our police we are proud of it; as an interesting item we welcome it, and as a proof that as a community we need straight-jackets and missionaries, we are ashamed of it."

Next story ...
Outrage In Chicago

Reported in the Ledger: In the latter part of September, a physician at Chicago inveigled a young lady into his office, under the pretense of giving her a preparation to remove a scar from her face. He administered chloroform to her, and attempted to commit an outrage upon her person, but she was not so stupefied but that she had power to scream. 

The door was kicked open by some of those who heard her, and the medical gentleman whaled so that he did not leave his room for several days. At the last accounts, there was talk of healing his injuries with a complete suit of tar and feathers. 

Next story ...
The Lynching Cask in Solano County

A few days since, it was reported that an aged man, of Spanish blood had been lynched on Putah Creek, on a charge of having stolen a horse from Mr. Wolfskill, of which charge it was afterwards shown that he was innocent. The Eco del Pacifico contains a letter in regard to the circumstances of this lynching, from which the Alta translates as follows :

While the unfortunate but honest old man in question was on a visit in Contra Costa, someone stole a saddle from his horse on the Vaca ranch in the Putah Valley. When he returned he heard of the theft, and was told that his saddle was at Wolfskill's, and he went to claim it. He recognized the saddle, but Wolfskill began to question him, and told him he must go before a Judge. 

A party of twenty men, including Wolfskill, surrounded him and said that he had been a criminal, and started with him. One by one the party dropped off, until only about four remained, Wolfskill being in command. When they arrived at a desert place, Wolfskill and his friends spoke together in a low voice, and surrounding the old man, so that he should not escape, they left the road leading to the Judge's, and started toward a place in the mountain where there is a thick wood. 

The old man broke away from his keepers, and attempted to escape. He rode twelve miles, and his pursuers after him, to Vacaville, where the Judge lives. Arrived here, the old man inquired of an American lady, "Who is the Judge? Where does he live?" 

While he was trying, in mixed English and Spanish, to make himself understood, his persecutors came upon him, and began to beat him. They tore him by force from the arms of the merciful woman, who bravely stepped between the old man and a drawn pistol, aimed at him, and cried out that they should not murder him. 

The captors ordered" the old man to go with them, he cried out for the protection of the law. He asked several times, in a loud voice, "Who is the Judge? Who speaks Spanish? Who is a Christian?" More than forty Americans witnessed this scene, and not one raised his voice.

Wolfskill and his party drove their prisoner to the place where he had escaped, and there he was hanged upon a tree and almost killed. This is not the first outrage which has happened in that vicinity. 

About three years ago, a man of Spanish blood was one morning found dead, hanging to a tree, not far from Wolfskill's. The deceased in that case had no friends, and the murderers went unpunished. A few months ago some men in masks lynched and lashed two or three Americans; but the officers took hold of the matter and the offenders had to bleed to the extent of eight or ten thousand dollars, before they could escape the punishment they merited.

So says the Eco. If these charges, so publicly made, in a paper of considerable circulation, be false, we hope they will be contradicted; if true, we may confess that there are some barbarians in California who deserve to be classed with the savages of Cavorca.

Next story ...
Shooting Affair

At the Webber House in Stockton, on Sunday evening, Nov. 5th, a shooting affair took place between two negro barbers named Hyers and Gilliard, which had its origin in a fit of jealousy. 

The Argus says: "Gilliard demanded a retraction of some statement made by Hyers, which the latter refused, where upon Gilliard drew a revolver and fired, but being too close to his mark, missed him. Hyers ran through the hall into the bar-room where Gilliard fired another shot, which also failed to take effect. 

Hyers made his escape into the street, where a third shot was fired by Gilliard, but missed its mark. Hyers ran up Center Street, and Gilliard made his escape in another direction. 

A person standing near the entrance to the bar-room, as Gilliard passed out, drew his pistol and " took a shot " at him "on suspicion."

-- end of articles from The Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 14, Number 2068, November 11th, 1857.

These articles are reprinted here as they were seen in 1857. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into life during that time period as much as I did. 

Tom Correa

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why We Need Values and Morals


With the recent school shooting by a former student in Florida, many are again focused on gun control. It's a very good bet that many will want more background checks, less ammunition, more registration, less ability to own certain types of firearms, and so on. It's just the same old same old that comes out of the media and by way of politicians after every mass shooting.

Should we become jaded to such things? No. Should we look for answers? Yes. Should we pay attention to the same old calls to disarm the entire nation because of the enormity of the crime? Frankly, I ignore them.

We should not become jaded to such things because that in itself solves nothing. We must remain involved with our heads and our hearts because it will take clear thinking and an emotional commitment to find solutions to such senseless acts. 

Solutions are what's needed.

We don't want to turn our schools into prisons with sentry towers, rows of barbed wire, sally ports, a turnkey system of area entry, armed guards, and more. Besides, show me one Correctional Facility that does not have it's problems with drugs and weapons making it's way into such facilities? Show me one Correction Facility that does not have violence and/or killings, assaults on each other and the guards? Fact is, they all do even with supposedly tight security.

Correctional Facilities show us that we cannot make our grade schools to resemble prisons because even prisons have assaults and killings. 

And here's a thought, while that's true and even prisons have assaults and killings, it's interesting to note that we never ever hear of a prisoner returning to prison to shoot up inmates and guards for some unknown reason. The reason for this is that the guards are heavily arms and will not hesitate to use deadly force against such a maniac if he tried to breach security.

Knowing that, should we secure our schools to protect our children? Should we arm our schools? Should we hire veterans who have been trained in the use of small arms and have close combat skills? Should we spend the needed funds to meet an assault with sufficient firepower as to seriously deter and halt such an attack? 

We do in prisons, but also in all sorts of government buildings where we want to keep people safe. In Washington, we keep anti-gun Democrats safe with guards wearing guns. They don't seem to mind that. 

When wanting to keep people safe, we spend the money and institute training while preparing for such an attack. As with us who have served in our nation's military, we know that our training is all about being ready if we're needed. 

Looking at the entire list of school shootings that has taken place since 2000, we need to take note that there have been a large number of "school shootings" where the shooting was workplace violence between employees, was gang related, drug related, self-inflicted, and off school premises. We need to also note that a number of cases resulted in no one being killed. Also, there is this. In many situations, situations where a shooter is intent on inflicting as most carnage as possible, the shooters are in many instances stopped by the heroic actions of others who decided to act.  

The anti-gun faction in America will not allow this latest tragedy to slip by without using it for their own political goals. They see the deaths of those there as a way to get what they want. They want guns banned in America. I used to think it was certain guns until I realized that they want all guns banned. 

Their number one target is the AR-15 style of rifle. These rifles are not the civilian equivalent of M-16 rifles used by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War. The Liberal media doesn't want you to know that. They want you to believe that the AR-15 is a "fully-automatic" military style of "assault weapon" the "same as" the M-16 rifle. 

They do not want you to know that millions of law abiding Americans own AR-15s. They are simply that popular. Are they popular because they are not very complicated and easy to use and maintain?  Probably, but they are also very versatile and can be used in things such as hunting wild boar to being used in shooting competitions.    

The Liberal Left says that we should ban them because they do more harm than good. Of course, if we use that logic, then we should ban all cars that can go faster than the speed limit allows. Fact is, speeding kills more Americans in one month than all of the AR-15s ever made has ever killed anyone in our nation. 

You don't hear people wanting to ban cars. That's a laughable suggestion. It's the same as banning hospitals knowing that more people die in hospitals than in all of the shooting incidents in America in any one year. Yes, hospitals and misdiagnoses kill more than all guns do. But as we both know, no one's going to ban hospitals or even call for such a ludicrous ban whether the stats justify such a thing. 

There is another thing that we need to look at. We can ban all AR-15s, but let's remember that school shooting have been going on for a lot longer than the AR-15 has been around. Banning one type of gun will not stop such a tragedy from taking place.

The first official school shooting took place in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, on July 26th, 1764. It's known as the Enoch Brown School Massacre. 

It took place when four Delaware Indians entered the schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. Once inside they shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and nine children. Two children were able to get away and ran for help. When support arrived, they found that the teacher was shot while the 9 children had been scalped.

So where are we? 

Passing new laws means nothing to someone intent on breaking the law. No law could have prevented what took place in Florida, just as no law could have stopped the mass shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Statistics tell us that school shootings, real mass shootings, and not simply some drug related shooting between a drug dealer and his buyer from a school, are up. We can arm teachers, and/or hire trained military veterans as armed security to meet the threat. But frankly, I don't see Liberals going for that. They see armed protection as justifying the existence of guns instead of vilifying them as being worthless to society.

So how about we think outside of the box? How about we get away from "the Earth is flat" crowd of no solutions other than going after guns? How about we look at what can be done from inside the school? 

I've talked about armed protection situated inside our schools, but how about teaching young minds the difference between right and wrong? And before you laugh, ask yourself this, why have school shootings and the number of victims increased since the 1950 when such things were common place? Could it be that we as a society are no longer teaching the difference between right and wrong? 

Could it be a matter of convenience in some way that it's not taught these days? Yes, convenience in that some people might not want people to recognize right from wrong? In what way would that ever be the case you ask?

Well, imagine a few generations of people being brought up believing that there is nothing wrong with funding a corporation that sells the parts of dead babies? Imagine a whole political party taught that it's OK to call for the assassination of an American president just because you didn't agree with his policies? Imagine more than 50% of the American public accepting what they know is not right all for the sack of putting their candidate into office, and believing that it's OK to riot and assault others because she wasn't elected? 

Image millions of people who blindly accept what they hear in the news media even though it is ripe with fake news that targets Conservatives? Imagine a sector of our society that believes that they are above the law and can do whatever they want without consequence? These are all examples of people who do not know the difference between right and wrong. And if they do, they simply don't care! 

So why not teach right from wrong in our schools? 

Why not teach that the next person's life is just as precious as yours? Why not teach that all lives mater and not just a certain group? Why not impress upon upcoming generations that being good is not bad? That being honest and straight with others is the way to go in life?

Why not teach kids values and morals? Why not teach the importance of trying to be good, fair, honest? Why not teach the idea that hard work and achievement is a value that serves one for a lifetime? Why not teach the Golden Rule of treating others as you yourself want to be treated? Why not teach how treating others as you want to be treated reflects well on you?

We need to teach values and morals. We need to teach respect and common courtesy for others. We need to teach youngsters how some ways of treating others in simply wrong. We need to teach the life has consequences and there is such a thing as right from wrong.

It is important. Moral development teaches emotional development. It teaches that we need to feel guilty when doing wrong. It teaches that we need to feel bad just thinking about doing something bad. It also teaches that we should accept our responsibility for behaving in ways that are unacceptable and offends others.

While my suggestion won't stop truly evil people from doing evil, maybe bucking the system and teaching kids to be good is part of what we need to look at to address this problem? Maybe we should keep talking about how to secure our schools better? But also, maybe we should not allow society to teach our children how to be cruel without doing something to fight that?

Besides, I think we should ask if our schools can do something more than just teach lock-down drills? At the least, maybe we can stop horrible people who don't know the difference between right and wrong from behaving horribly? Imagine that.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Tombstone Epitaph's "The Cow-boy Nuisance" 1881

The Tombstone Epitaph, published the following editorial on September 16th, 1881:

The Cow-boy Nuisance

Tombstone Sept. 16 -- Has anyone stopped for a moment to consider the present state of affairs in Arizona, and what the end will be? It has come to pass in this county that life and personal property are unsafe; even in the town of Tombstone it seems as if one of the leading industries is to be destroyed.

There is not a teamster today who is not in fear and dread of the cow-boys, or so-styled "rustlers" depriving him of his hard earnings (I say hard earnings, for if there is a man who gains his living by the sweat of his brow, it is the man who from early morn till late at night pulls and tugs along through mud and rain, dust, and heat, with a six or eight mule team, or the man who shoulders a bull whip and tramps all day long yelling and pounding seven or eight yoke of oxen) How must such men feel to be robbed by a hand of thieves and cutthroats, who take pride in announcing to the public that they are "rustlers!"

Where is the teamsters protection? Can you find any officers who will follow, arrest and recover your property? If you can, I would like to see him. And how do teamsters act to one another in such matters?

They stand still, for the "rustlers" tell them, "you won't be troubled if you leave us alone." So they take the man's cattle ahead of you, and you won't help him, for you have had an understanding; and then they take yours; the man behind you won't help you for he is "solid," having had an understanding with them; and then they take his, and so it goes.

Another thing, teamsters are afraid; they follow, intending to fight, they get close to their stock, are met and told to go back, and back they go. These chaps seem to have no difficulty in evading the law, while others, not inclined to work, daily join the band and they are increasing fast in numbers. Our town is filled with spies watching every move of the officers and imparting their information to their comrades. Just let a stage be robbed and in less than twelve hours no less than twelve "rustlers" will come and go. It is having a dreadfully depressing effect upon all kinds of business.

Men who come to examine different mines outside of town, when they learn how the cow-boys stand fellows up, do not wish to run such risks; they quietly take the road they came and get into civilization as soon as possible. Just look at the number of oxen stolen in the last six weeks between here and Morse's Mills; and, to cap off with, they stopped what was left of the train they had robbed, and told the owners; "Travel this no further: if you do we will kill you and take your oxen," and they there and then forced them there and then unyoke. That was done within four miles of this town on last Sunday morning.

I think it is time the people did something. There are men not afraid of them, but those men are in various employments. They won't quit work and go on the trail unless the people will make it an object. Ten armed men, well mounted, can, in sixty days, bring to justice many a "rustler." Put the right men in the field and give them the proper leader, and see how soon peace will be restored to the community, and business will resume its happy and prosperous course again.

-- end of The Tombstone Epitaph article,

Newspapers can help calm things down or inflame a situation. Some have told me that The Tombstone Epitaph newspaper poured gas on the fire with this editorial. From what I can tell, there's no mistaking what The Tombstone Epitaph thought of the Cowboy faction in that town. This summed it up.

The above article was published by The Tombstone Epitaph about a month before the now famous gunfight near the OK Corral. As most of us know, that gunfight on October 26, 1881, resulted in the killing of three cowboys.

Tom Correa

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Virgil Earp -- Newspaper Interview 1882

An interview with Virgil Earp as reported by the Arizona Daily Star on May 30th, 1882:

The San Francisco Examiner of the 27th contains an interview with Virgil Earp, from which the following extracts are made: "I was born in Kentucky but was raised in Illinois and Iowa. My parents came to this state, settling in San Bernardino, near Colton, at which later place they now live. I served for a lit­tle over three years in the war, in an Illinois regiment, and then came to California in 1866. I soon went into New Mexico, Ari­zona and all that southern country, where I have spent nearly six years.

When Tombstone was discovered I was in Prescott. The first stage that went out of Prescott toward Tombstone was rob­bed. Robberies were frequent and became expensive, and the dis­ordered condition of the new country soon brought a demand for the better protection of business and money, as well as life. I was asked to go to Tombstone in my capacity as United States Marshal, and went. My brother Wyatt and myself were fairly well treated for a time, but when the desperate characters who were congregated there, and who had been unaccustomed to troublesome molestation by the authorities, learnt that we meant business and determined to stop their rascality, if possible, they began to make it warm for us. 

The Tombstone country is of a pe­culiar character, the community being unsettled and dangerous. Most of the business men there stayed simply to make money enough to live somewhere else comfortably, and of course the greatest object with them is to have as much money as possible spent in the town and to get as much of it as they can, careless of the means of dispensation or the results of rough manners. Aside from the legitimate business men the bulk of the residents are idle or desperate characters, most of them coming into town broke and depending upon the gambling tables or criminal ven­tures to supply them with means of livelihood and dissipation.

The Cowboys numbered at one time nearly 200 but during the last two years about fifty of them have been killed. The most of them are what we call "saddlers," living almost wholly in the saddle and largely engaged in raiding into Sonora and adjacent country and stealing cattle, which they sell in Tombstone. It is rarely that any of these stolen cattle are recovered. 

When the thieves are closely pursued and it seems likely that they will be overhauled and the stock re­covered, the cowboys sell the cattle to some of the butchers prac­tically in partnership with them, and I know of cases where the finest cattle in the country have been sold at a dollar a head. When cattle are not handy the cowboys rob stages and engage in similar enterprises to raise money. 

As soon as they are in funds they ride into town, drink, gamble and fight. They spend their money as free as water in the saloons, dance houses or faro banks, and this is one reason they have so many friends in town. All that large class of degraded characters who gather the crumbs of such carouses stand ready to assist them out of any trouble or into any paying rascality. The saloons and gambling houses, into whose treasuries most of the money is ultimately turned, receive them cordially and must be called warm friends of the cowboys. 

A good many of the merchants fear to express themselves against the criminal element because they want to keep the patronage of the cowboys' friends, and the result is that when any conflict be­tween the officers and cattle thieves or stage robbers occurs, fol­lowed up by shootings around town, as witnessed during the last few months, most of the expression of opinion comes from the desperado class and their friends, and the men who should speak loudest and most decisively to correct the condition of affairs are generally the quietest. 

An officer doing his duty must rely almost entirely upon his own conscience for encouragement. The sym­pathy of the respectable portion of the community may be with him but it is not openly expressed.

The bad element knows its advantage in this respect, and makes the most of it. The cowboys are collected from all parts of the Western country, from which they have been crowded by advancing civilization, and they know that Arizona is about the only place left for them to operate in as an organization. With a complete breaking up of their company threatened in event of losing their hold where they are now, they resist official interference with the greatest desperation. 

Concerning the fights between the cowboys and myself and brothers, it has been stated over and over again that there was an old feud between us and some of our enemies, and that we were fighting only to revenge personal wrongs and grati­fy personal hatred. All such statements are false. We went into Tombstone to do our duty as officers. To do that we were put in conflict with a band of desperadoes, and it resolved itself into a question of which side could first drive the other out of the country, or kill them in it. Today my brother Morg is dead and I am a cripple for life. My other brothers are fugitives, but they will give themselves up. It was our boys who killed Stillwell [sic].

Before Stillwell died he confessed that he killed Morg and gave the names of those who were implicated with him. When my brothers were leaving Arizona they got dispatches from Tucson saying that Stillwell and a party of friends were watching all the railroad trains pass­ing that way, and they were going through them in search of all Earps and their friends, carrying shotguns under their overcoats and promising to kill on sight. 

Our boys were hound to look out for themselves, and when they got near Tucson were very cauti­ous. They found StilIwell near the track and killed him. For the first time the Sheriff has shown anxiety to arrest someone, and the boys are keeping out of his way. The Court in Tombstone does not sit again for six months yet, and they don't want to lie in jail all that time waiting for trial, hut when the Court sits again they will give themselves up, and, with fair play, will be acquitted. 

The press dispatches that have been sent here have been very un­fair to us and have been made to conform to a plan to carry all these fights into politics this season. I am a Republican. My brothers are Democrats. I am sorry to see the thing taken into politics as a personal measure, because the true aspect of the trouble will be lost and new enmities are likely to be created. 

I heard that Doc Holliday, one of our friends about whom there has been considerable talk, had been captured at Denver. Word was sent to me that he would be taken out on a writ of habeas corpus, and that before an officer from the Territory could reach him he would be released. I do not know if he succeeded in get­ting off or not.

There was something very peculiar about Doc. He was gentlemanly, a good dentist, a friendly man, and yet outside of us boys I don't think he had a friend in the Territory. Tales were told that he had murdered men in differ­ent parts of the country; that he had robbed and committed all manner of crimes, and yet when persons were asked how they knew it they could only admit that it was hearsay, and that noth­ing of the kind could really be traced up to Doc's account. 

He was a slender, sickly fellow, but whenever a stage was robbed or row started, and help was needed, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty. The stories, at one time widely circulated, that we were in with the cowboys and quarrel­ed over division of the spoils, was ridiculous. It was at least disbe­lieved by Wells, Fargo & Co., who I represented, and while I was City Marshal they gave me this." 

The speaker here displayed on the inside of his coat a large gold badge, a five pointed star set in­side of a circular band, inscribed on one side, "City Marshal, Tombstone, A.T.," and on the other, "V. W. Earp, with Compli­ments of Wells, Fargo & Co." 

Mr. Earp was in such pain that for the time his story was cut short. He was met by two friends, who accompanied him to this city, where he will remain about thirty days. Yesterday he was placed under the care of a leading surgeon, and was unable to receive visitors, keeping himself well secluded. His escape from death by his last wounds was remark­able. Besides the shot which crippled his arm, he was shot clean through the body, and upon the day following that upon which the dead body of his brother reached the home of his parents, he, too, arrived at Colton, expecting to die. Though in good health otherwise, his arm will prevent any further active participation in the sensational warfare against the cowboys.

-- end of the Arizona Daily Star article of May 30th, 1882.

While I found a number of claims pretty interesting, the first thing that I found of real note is when he said that "the Cowboys numbered at one time nearly 200 but during the last two years about fifty of them have been killed." I'd really like to find where he or that reporter got those numbers from? Was there 200 rustlers, robbers, and killers in the Tombstone area when he was there? Who were they?

Also, I would think the deaths of 50 outlaws in a two year period of time would be big news across the entire nation. I can't help but wonder if he meant that he himself killed 50 outlaws? I don't know of any law enforcement officer who has killed 50 outlaws in two years. Especially knowing that he arrived in Tombstone in November of 1879 and left there in March of 1882. That's a lot of killing in a very short time and I'd think there would be some mention of that somewhere to verify it or not?  For me, I actually doubt that he said that. 

I like that he did admit that Wyatt and Warren were running from the law as they were wanted for murder after their so-called "vendetta". Of course he was part wrong when he said, "My other brothers are fugitives, but they will give themselves up." They never did. 

Also it's very interesting is that he said "I am a Republican. My brothers are Democrats." I've read where all of the Earps were supposedly Republicans and that there are some writers who have tried to make the tension between the Earps and the Clantons-McLaurys into a Republican versus Democrat situation. So this makes me wonder if those writers knew what they're talking about.

For the record, I've always thought Virgil Earp was the best lawman that the Earp family produced. While I have a great deal of respect for Virgil, I don't know how much of the interview above is embellishment on the part of the reporter.

I hope you found this as interesting as I do. 

Tom Correa