News & Tall Tales. 1800s.


San Francisco Gold Rush 1849.

Shipment of Treasure

Commercial and Financial News

Saturday Evening, January 10, 1863, Daily Alta California, San Francisco 

The clearances of treasure today, by three vessels, amount to the sum of $1,110,282.43, and taken in connection with the shipment by the Franklin yesterday, of $25,000, and the recent light receipts of Dust from the interior, account sufficiently for the scarcity of Gold Bars within a few days past. The closing rate for Bars yesterday was 880, and this morning we learn that China buyers gave 890 fine par.

Quicksilver Mining in Sonoma County. Joe Pelanconi.

The treasure shipment by the St. Louis to Panama was $898,709.50. She took also merchandise valued at $5,871.85.

The Scotland, for Hongkong, took treasure to the amount of $190,021.93, and merchandise valued at $57,137. Leading articles of the Scotland's cargo were 5,827 sacks Wheat, 100 barrels Flour, and 1,000 flasks Quicksilver.

Rush for Riches.The Washington, for Hongkong, took treasure to the amount of $26,420, and merchandise (Wheat and Quicksilver) valued at $18,000. The Yankee for Honolulu, had an assorted cargo valued at $21,686.79.

Rush for Riches
Gold Fever and the Making of California

J. S. Holliday

Trade today has been quite limited. There were a few transactions of moderate interest, but as a general thing, the market was quiet.

In the domestic produce market Barley was very firm.

Nothing of moment was done at auction.

January 21, 1863, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Per Steamer Golden Age, January 21, 1863

Donohoe, Ralston & Co. $513,550.00
Wells, Fargo & Co. 280,000.00
B. Davidson & May 198,053.84
Eli Lazard 138,000.00
Parrott & Co. 117,671.18
Hentsch & Berton 97,975.00
Sather & Church 72,900.00
Abel Guy 51,000.00
Reynolds, Reis & Co. 45,194.50
Tallant & Co. 42,468.52
J. Seligman & Co. 33,000.00
DeWitt, Kittie & Co. 30,009.24
Frank Baker 31,000.00
Jas. Patrick & Co. 30,000.00
Stevens, Baker & Co. 10,000.00
Sweeney & Co. 7,778.72
Jansen, Bond & Co. 6,500.00
Other shippers 20,804,00
Total $1,781,815.36
RECAPITULATION
To England $1,336,894.07
To New York 354,921.29
To Panama 85,000.00
Acapulco 5,000.00
Total $1,731,815.36

Freaks of Fortune.Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in AmericaFreaks of Fortune.
Jonathan Levy
Until the early nineteenth century, "risk" was a specialized term: it was the commodity exchanged in a marine insurance contract. Freaks of Fortune tells the story of how the modern concept of risk emerged in the United States. Gold Bars.

Born on the high seas, risk migrated inland and became essential to the financial management of an inherently uncertain capitalist future. Focusing on the hopes and anxieties of ordinary people, Jonathan Levy shows how risk developed through the extraordinary growth of new financial institutions-insurance corporations, savings banks, mortgage-backed securities markets, commodities futures markets, and securities markets-while posing inescapable moral questions. For at the heart of risk's rise was a new vision of freedom. To be a free individual, whether an emancipated slave, a plains farmer, or a Wall Street financier, was to take, assume, and manage one's own personal risk. Yet this often meant offloading that same risk onto a series of new financial institutions, which together have only recently acquired the name "financial services industry." Levy traces the fate of a new vision of personal freedom, as it unfolded in the new economic reality created by the American financial system.

Imperial San Francisco.Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly RuinImperial San Francisco.
(California Studies in Critical Human Geography)
Gray Brechin
First published in 1999, this celebrated history of San Francisco traces the exploitation of both local and distant regions by prominent families—the Hearsts, de Youngs, Spreckelses, and others—who gained power through mining, ranching, water and energy, transportation, real estate, weapons, and the mass media. The story uncovered by Gray Brechin is one of greed and ambition on an epic scale. Brechin arrives at a new way of understanding urban history as he traces the connections between environment, economy, and technology and discovers links that led, ultimately, to the creation of the atomic bomb and the nuclear arms race.

Millionaires and Kings of EnterpriseMillionaires and Tycoons.
The Marvellous Careers of Some Americans Whose Pluck, Foresight, and Energy Have Made Themselves Masters in the Fields of Industry and Finance

James Burnley

Gold Rush and Riches.All About America: Gold Rush and RichesGold Rush and Riches.
Paul Robert Walker
Meticulously researched, with specially-commissioned illustration, detailed reconstructions and original artwork from each period, reading lists, and resources for further study, this series is an immersive introduction to the history that shaped America. In 1848, carpenter James Marshall made a chance discovery: a few shiny flakes-of gold in a riverbed he was digging. Within a year 800,000 gold-seekers from all over the world were on their way to California, and the Gold Rush was on.

The Big Spenders.The Big Spenders
The Epic Story of the Rich Rich, the Grandees of America and the Magnificoes, and How They Spent Their Fortunes
America's Super Rich.

Lucius Beebe
The Big Spenders was Lucius Beebe's last and many think his best book. In it he describes the consumption of the Gilded Age. Beebe enjoys it all immensely, and so do his readers, whether it is James Gordon Bennett buying a Monte Carlo restaurant because he was refused a seat by the window, or Spencer Penrose leaving a bedside memo reminding himself not to spend more than $1 million the next day.

Tycoons and Millionaires.The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American SupereconomySuper Economy.
Charles R. Morris
Acclaimed author Charles R. Morris vividly brings the men and their times to life. The ruthlessly competitive Carnegie, the imperial Rockefeller, and the provocateur Gould were obsessed with progress, experiment, and speed. They were balanced by Morgan, the gentleman businessman, who fought, instead, for a global trust in American business. Through their antagonism and their verve, they built an industrial behemoth — and a country of middle-class consumers. The Tycoons tells the story of how these four determined men wrenched the economy into the modern age, inventing a nation of full economic participation not imagined a few decades earlier.


The Naval Order of the United States has a history dating from 1890. Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths.

The San Francisco Commandery meets the first Monday of each month at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in San Francisco, California and holds two formal dinners each year:

  • Annual Midway Night Celebration -In June at the Marines' Memorial Club, 609 Sutter St, San Francisco.
  • Pearl Harbor Memorial Dinner - In December at the University Club, 800 Powell St, San Francisco. Dinner Dress Blue Jacket uniform or equivalent. 

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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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