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News & Tall Tales. 1800s.

Bridge to the Castle.

California Gold

February 15, 1849, Burlington Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa

California Gold

Sunday Morning in the Mines. California Gold Rush.
Sunday Morning in the Mines

California gold furnishes the common coin of conversation now-a-days. Among the current anecdotes of the day, we have heard one of a young gentleman, who after a long residence among the gold diggers (who, it seems, equal Fallstaff's regimen for lack of linen) had only one article left that had any pretensions to the name of shirt, and this he hired out at the rate of $5 dollars an evening for weddings and other festivities.

We are told, also that the fortunate discoverer of a very large lump of gold, finding it top heavy for immediate transportation, carefully painted it of a dull copper color to deceive other adventurers until he should have time to carry it off.

N.Y. Express


A letter has been received by a respectable mercantile firm in the city, detailing a horrible butchery already occasioned by Californian gold.

A ship, called the Amelia, sailed from St. Francisco with gold, to purchase a cargo of silks in China. In crossing the Pacific Ocean, three miscreants of the crew, during a night watch, stole upon the mate, murdered, and threw him overboard; after which they successively assassinated the master, supercargo, and an English passenger named Cooke, whose wife was on board. The murderers then divided the Californian gold amongst themselves, and the remaining part of the crew, who, it would seem, were ignorant of the whole affair, till called upon to receive their share of the plunder. Soon afterwards the murderers got drunk and fell asleep, when the rest of the crew agreed to kill them and to restore the ship to her owners.

Accordingly, the ship's carpenter chopped off the heads of the three murderers with his axe, and their bodies were thrown into the ocean. The ship was then taken to Honohulao, one of the Sandwich Islands, and given up to the British Consul, being navigated thither entirely by a couple of apprentice lads, who alone possessed sufficient skill for the purpose.

Birds Eye of the Village of San Francisco. 1800s.
M & N Hanhart Chromo Lithograph Co.
Established in Mulhouse in 1830 by Michael Hanhart who initially worked with Godefroy Engelmann in London. The firm, established at Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, was named after his two sons Michael and Nicholas. Artists like Joseph Wolf, Joseph Smit, J. G. Keulemans and others worked for him to produce natural history illustrations that were used in the Ibis (1859-1874), Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1848-1900) and a range of books.

Gold Dust and Gunsmoke
Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes
Gold rush Outlaws.
John Boessenecker

Trials of Laura Fair.
The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West
Carole Haber
On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreput able character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West.

Victorinox Chrono Watch and Swiss Army Knife.

Victorinox Swiss Army Officers Chronograph with Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Officers Chronograph with Knife.

Victorinox History: Karl Elsener opened a knife cutler's workshop in Ibach-Schwyz and established the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers. He delivered the first major supply of soldier's knives to the Swiss Army. In 1921. The invention of stainless steel was a significant development for the cutlery industry. “Inox” is the international term for stainless steel. The combination of the two words “Victoria” and “Inox” gives the name of the company and brand today – Victorinox. By 1945, U.S. soldiers stationed in Europe bought the Swiss Army Knife in large quantities in part as a souvenir to take home.

Bago Dry Bags for Water Sports.

Sailing & Watersports Gear: Dry Bags, Duffels, Gloves, Divers' Knives & Shears, Flotation Devices, Inflatable Kayaks, Water Shoes, Surfing...

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Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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