Sunday, June 19, 2011

More California

In Seventy-five Years in California by William Heath Davis there was hardly a mention of the big gold discovery in 1848 by John Sutter. There are two chapters in the book, Chapter 34, First Discovery of Gold in California, and Chapter 35, Gold, Gold, and More Gold, where he approaches it from a viewpoint of one who doesn't care too much about it. The first discovery of gold was not the big lode at Sutter's Mill, but a gold find in the area of Los Angeles in 1841 by some Mexicans who were going to the northern part of the Territory. The find was not a terribly large one, but the mining went on for a few years. Mr. Davis then writes about the mixing of races. The Spaniards wanted to keep the Spanish blood from being mixed with the Indians, so they imported some women from Mexico to alleviate the pressure on the large number of males without women. And he goes on to explain the draft system that was being used by the Generals in California to maintain the number of forces necessary to defend against the Indians. It was by conscription of the young single males. The Generals sent men out to round up the eligible males and tell them  "You're in the Army now, not behind a plow." Well, that isn't exactly what they said, but you get the idea, no matter what they were doing they were taken away to help defend against the Indians or others..       

Gold, gold, and More Gold, this chapter deals with not the Sutter Gold, but the events surrounding it. Mr. Davis writes that the Indians told the Padres of the Missions about the gold they found in the mountains and the Padres told them not to tell anyone, and the Padres kept it secret, too. Davis went on his own gold search around the San Diego area but was unsuccessful. This was after the big discovery at Sutter's Mill.



  1. Conscription time. A lot of folks have ended up in the military that way over the centuries.

  2. Hello there Bloggin' Curly and thanks for the info on my home state. Hope Father's Day was good for you.

  3. Although I'm not from California, I find the history like in this book very interesting. You get a view by someone that lived through it that isn't always covered in regular history books. Had a fine Father's Day, thanks!