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Upon the assertion of M. Duflot de Mofras mainly rests the discovery of gold at San Isidro, in San Diego county by a man from Guanajuato about 1828. “ A San Isidro," he says in the first volume of his Exploration du Territoire de l' Oregon, des Californies, et de la Mer Vermeille, Paris, 1844, “à quatorze lieues dans l'est de San Diego, on trouve des mines d'or et d'argent qui furent exploitées il y a quinze ans par un homme de Guanajuato.”

Padre Viader, a priest at Mission Santa Clara, is said to have possessed the gift of prophecy. Two years before it occurred, he foretold the drought of 1829, and advised the people to prepare for it, and plant double the usual area. He likewise predicted the discovery of gold in California, and the transfer of that land to another nationality. This reminds one of the many signs and omens pointing to the fall of Monteruma, and the Mexican conquest, which occured during the century preceding that event.

Another prophet, who died in 1830, was Padre Magin Catalá, of this same mission. Among other things he predicted that great riches would be found in the north, and that people would flock thither in great numbers.

It is safe to affirm that among people of extraordinary piety no important event ever happens but that after the occurrence many persons can be found who said that it would be so.

And now for the statement of a savage among others who testify. Puleule, a Yuba, swore, as soon as he had acquired that civilized accomplishment, that when he was a boy, say in 1830, he had often amused himself by picking from the gravel large pieces of gold and throwing them into the water.

Manuel Victoria writing the Ministro de Relaciones says in 1831 that there are no mines of any value in California; that the pagans know of none; and that it is the opinion of experts that there are no minerals in the country.

The unreliable editor of The Natural Wealth of Cali

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fornia, states that the first gold was found in the Santa Clara valley in 1833, and that other deposits were discovered in various places in the Sierra Madre,

Blount, the pioneer, assured Bishop Kip in 1864, that thirty years before, that is to say in 1834, he encountered ore, which at the time he thought to be copper, but then knew to be gold. The bishop display's extreme credulity even in repeating such a statement. About on a par with this is the assertion of Mr Gray, who wrote what he calls a History of Oregon, that two jovial priests, brought to the Oregon coasts by the Hudson's Bay Company, discovered, when wandering among the Rocky Mountains, pure silver and golden ores, specimens of which they carried to St Louis and Europe. What their jollity had to do with it the historian does not explain; nor does he give us proof that any assertion of this kind was made by them prior to the discovery of Marshall

. Governor Alvarado thinks it impertinence on the part of Sutter and Marshall to claim the honor of the gold discovery; for in the fourth volume of his Historia de California he observes, “que el pueblo Americano es esencialmente egoista cuando trata de hacer aparerer al señor Marshall como primer descubridor del oro en California; que en buena hora la legislatura dé premios y pensiones a quienes se le Antoje, yo no me mezelo en esos asuntos, desde que mi voz sería demasiado débil para efectuar reformas que

la

mayoría de los legisladores no desean ver implantadas; pero exijo que no se ciña con laureles que de justicia pertenecen á mis compatriotas, la frente de Sutter, Marshall y demás aventureros que a cada bienio se presentan ante la legislatura del Estado reclamando recompensas por servicios que han estado muy lejos de prestar, y por descubrimientos que habian sido hechos mas de quince años antes que los titulados descubridores del oro Viniesen á California.”

My old friend Warner gives the most plausible explanation as to the origin of the many ungrounded rumors concerning the early discovery of gold in California. Several persons, he says, coming to this country, brought with them bullion or dust, to be used as money, which passing into commerce, was handled by different persons and shipped at various times to various places. Thus Palacios, arriving in 1834 as agent for a Guaymas merchant who had previously shipped goods to California, and had purchased land and cattle, brought a considerable quantity of grain gold and silver bars, obtained in Sonora, wherewith to facilitate his operations. About the same time J. P. Leese arrived from New Mexico, having in his possession placer gold to the value of several thousand dollars. A large proportion of this treasure fell into the hands of the agents of Boston merchants, and was shipped to Boston, California thus acquiring the reputation in certain circles of a gold-producing country. Thus Mr Dana, referring to the cargo of the Alert, states, in his Two Years Before the Mast, that among other things was a quantity of gold-dust brought from the interior by Indians or Mexicans. And he learned further from the owners that it was not uncommon for homeward-bound vessels to have on board a snall quantity of gold. Rumors of gold discoveries were then current, he adds, but they attracted little attention.

In Mexico, by a law of March 24, 1835, was created the Establecimiento de Mineria, which body was to superintend the mines of California, in case there were any, as well as those of northern Mexico.

Notwithstanding all these affirmations, oaths, and prophecies, Alexander Forbes, in 1835, writes : “There are said to be many nines of gold and silver in the peninsula, but none are now worked, unless, indeed, we may except those of San Antonio, near La Paz, which still afford a trifling supply.” And again: -“No minerals of particular importance have yet been found in Upper California, nor any ores of metals.” And speaking of the coming of Hijar's

UNRELIABLE TESTIMONY.

43

party, he says, “There were goldsmith's proceeding to a country where no gold existed.”

While on a visit south in 1874, I met at San Luis Obispo, Mr Henry B. Blake, author of a historical sketch of southern California, who stated that the first gold shipped from California was in 1836, and came from the source of the Santa Clara river.

With regard to gold in Lower California, the Penny Cyclopædia of 1836 says:—“The mineral riches are very inconsiderable. Only

Only one mine is worked about ten or twelve miles northwest of La Paz, where gold is extracted, but the metal is not abundant.” The San Antonio mine is the one referred to. “It is supposed that the western declivity of the mountains contains a considerable quantity of minerals, but if this be the case they will probably never be worked, as this part of the peninsula is quite uninhabitable.” And the country to the northward is not very different in the opinion of this writer, who continues: “In minerals Upper California is not rich. A small silver mine was found east of S. Inés, but it has been abandoned. In one of the rivers falling into the southern Tule Lake, some gold has been found, but as yet in very small quantity.”

CHAPTER III.

FURTHER RUMORS OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOLD IN CALI.

FORNIA PRIOR TO THE DISCOVERY BY MARSHALL.

Is yellow dirt the passion of thy life?
Look but on Gripus or on Gripus' wife.

- Pope.

NEARER the mythic than any we have yet encountered, in point of elaboration at least, is the story told in 1865 by the Paris correspondent of the London Star. The writer claims to have discovered, in a private collection in Paris, belonging to an antiquarian nained M. le Carpentier, the first gold found in California. It was in this wise: During the revolution of 1830, and for years afterward, M. le Carpentier had felt somewhat nervous lest his collection should be seized by a mob or by burglars, for it was now very valuable. While in this frame of mind he was startled, late one night in 1837, by a loud knocking at the street door. After some delay he opened it with great precaution, and there stood a middle-aged man, emaciated, apparently in wretched health, and in tat tered garments.

“You do not know me,” began the individual, speaking somewhat wildly, “but I know you, and that is enough. I want you to assist me in applying to government for a vessel and a hundred men, and I will bring back a ship-load of gold.” The antiquary's face showed what he thought of the proposal.

“Oh, I am not mad,” the invalid continued. here! You are wise. You know the value of this" producing from his pocket a large piece of quartz, richly impregnated with gold. M. le Carpentier was

6. See

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