A History of Tuolumme County, California

This work, undertaken in the desire to preserve from oblivion the deeply interesting records of the short but eventful period of Tuolumne's occupancy by civilized man, has been carried out in the fullest form compatible with absolute accuracy. Whatever has been here set down has been subjected first to careful scrutiny, in the hope that the printed book might, in the matter of exactness at least, be worthy of those by whom its perusal is intended. The limits of the story are necessarily circumscribed but considering the merely ephemeral interest which pertains to ordinary anecdote, and considering the comparatively few points on which the attention of future generations may center, it has been thought best to imitate in brevity and accuracy the more pretentious works of celebrated historians, and not allow the intense interest which at present pertains to the affairs of the Golden Age of California, to warp the historical spirit that should discriminate between that which is worthy of perpetuation and that which, although interesting in the vicinity of its happening, cannot lend value to a book which should be of permanent worth.

It was with the idea of presenting a variety of subjects relating to Tuolumne, that several persons were engaged to assist in the compilation of special articles upon topics of industrial or scientific interest. Of these, the publishers have to thank Mr. Louis R. Tulloch, of Sonora, for a suggestive and timely article upon Pocket Mining, which will be found in its appropriate place. Unfortunately, the able and carefully written review by Miss Tulloch, of the Botany of Tuolumne has been crowded out of the volume. To both of the above, the thanks of the publishers are extended, as also to Messrs. Randall and Roberts, of the Democrat, and the Messrs. Duchow, of the Independent, who have kindly loaned files of their papers to assist in the work. The venerable Dr. L.C. Gunu and D.O. McCarthy, Esq., both of San Diego, also unhesitatingly forwarded the valuable files of their respective papers, when called upon, and their kindness is most gratefully remembered.


Table of Contents

Arrival of the Woods Party 1
Settlement of Jamestown and Tuttletown 3
The Earlier Arrivals in Tuolumne 7
Habits of the Miners 12
The Earliest Recorded Trials 13
The First Murder 14
First Election in Tuolumne 15
Further Discoveries of Gold 17
Town Government organized in Sonora 18
Religious Affairs 21
Discoveries at Columbia 22
Administration of Justice 25
Columbia's Sudden Misfortunes 27
A Female Pioneer 27
The Foreign Miners' Tax 28
The Sonora Herald 35
Riot of July, 1850, and Attempted Lynching of Four Mexicans 39
Mass Meeting and Proclamation of the Americans 44
Business Affairs in Sonora 47
Early Affairs in Jacksonville 50
Hawkins' Bar 52
Big Oak Flat 54
Riot at Holden's Gardens 55
Murder of Newby by Fuller 60
First Political Meeting 61
Murder of Palmer by Thornley 62
The Holden's Garden Chispa 63
The Barry Papers 65
Extracts from the Herald 71
Murder of Captain iSnow and Lynching of Two Mexicans 74
Lynching of Jim Hill in Sonora 76
Vigilance Committee 79
Organization of Sonora's Town Council 81
Progress of Sonora 84
Great Fire of '52 86
Rebuilding 88
The Chinese Question 91
Diversions of Early Days 93
Theatricals 97
Affairs in Columbia 99
The Tuolumue County Water Co 100
The Star and the Gazette 101
List of Business Places in Columbia 102
Mining Affairs 103
Social Affairs in Columbia 109
"The Fire of 1854" 113
Montezuma and the Hydraulic Ditch 115
Mr. Murray's Travels 116
Water for Mining Operations 125
Social Progress 128
Financial Matters 130
Fires in Sonora in 1853 134
The Miners' Convention 137
The Inner Life of the Miners 144
The Execution of Bruce in Sonora 147
Murder of Parrot by Nicholas 149
The Heslep Murder and Lynching of Griffiths 153
Ditch Matters and the Miners' Strike 162
Completion of the Stanislaus Ditch 172
The Kittering-Worth Homicide 178
Recollections of Colonel Moore 181
Execution of Escobar and Sebada for the murder of Sheldon 188
The Murder of Smith and the Lynching of Barclay 190
The Hunter-Drake Shooting Affray in Sonora 197
Fandango Experiences 201
Robbers and Robberies 207
Murder of Bond by McCauley 216
The Blakesley Murder 218
Hanging of Lyons, Poer and McCauley 220
Columbia in 1857 221
The Murder of McDonald and Leary in Columbia 223
More Recent Matters in Columbia 227
Fire of 1861 in Sonora 229
Murder of Judge Brunton 224
Military and Political Affairs 230
Decadence of the Southern Mines 233
Later Events in Sonora 234
The Murder of Sloane 240
The Bergel Murder 245
Stage Robberies 246
Railroad Matters 249
Sonora Its Society and its Business 255
Chronology of Tuolumne County 263
List of Officers from the Earliest Times 303
Geology and Mining 425
Theory as to the Formation of Gold Deposits in Quartz 434
Quartz Mining 439
Pocket Mining 457
Gravel Mining 464
Formation of the Auriferous Gravel Beds 473
Mills and Manufactures 483
Quartz Mills 485
Reduction Processes 489
Flouring Mills 494
Agricultural Resources of Tuolumne County 495


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Much has been written concerning the habits, mode of life and pursuits of the golden age of the State Volumes of most interesting matter could be compiled on these and kindred subjects, but the themes have so often been touched upon by writers that every one, at this later time, may be considered to have accurate ideas thereon.