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CALIFORNIA.

601 the fog to the ground. The surface-gold of California will probably never be wholly exhausted. Will the gold-bearing quartz rocks fail to yield the precious ore? This is the great question which time alone can fully solve. It is the opinion of some eminent men that gold-bearing quartz occupies a broad vein through the whole extent of the foot range of the Sierra. Gold, in the shape of small, delicate scales, is sometimes found in the slate rocks. One lump of gold, perhaps the largest ever found in California, weighed twenty-three pounds, was nearly pure, and of a cubical figure.

UICKSILVER is one of the most important mineral products of this wonderful country. Several localities are already known; but the richest is Forbes's mine, about sixty miles from San José. At this mine, with a few labourers, and two common iron kettles for smelting, they have already sold quicksilver to a very large amount, and had, not long since, two hundred tons of ore awaiting the smelting process. The effect of these rich mines of quicksilver upon the wealth and commerce of the world, if kept from the hands of monopolists, can hardly be overrated. Mines of silver, also, are known to exist in the mountains of the gold region.

The climate of the coast is unpleasant, at least, if not unhealthy. The seasons are variable. The usual period of rain is from November to April inclusive; but in some years it is very abundant, while in others it is very sparing, and several consecutive years sometimes pass away with scarcely any rain. The southern coast of Upper California is hot and dry, except for a short time in the winter. The length of the wet season increases as we proceed northward; and, about the Bay of San Francisco, the rains are nearly constant from November to April, and fogs and heavy dews moisten the earth and nourish vegetation for the rest of the year. California is subject to long droughts, two years often bringing scarcely any rain; yet vegetation does not suffer so greatly as might be expected, because it is sustained by the fogs of the latter part of the night, and because the numerous mountain streamlets afford the means of natural and artificial irrigation. But glittering sands and glowing mines are not the only gifts which Nature has lavished upon this delightful land. Yet her sparkling streams and verdant vales, her golden grain waving to the zephyrs, her blushing fruits and beautiful flowers, had little or no charms for the great world, until she

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appeared arrayed in a gilded robe-but, then, what a change! Emigrants rush from every civilized nation upon earth. Fifty thousand eager hunters for gold, of every hue and language, soon cover the slopes of the great Sierra. Even the inhabitant of the Celestial Empire, where emigration Has been a crime, has found his way thither. Neither distance, nor the dangers of the deep, nor the diseases of tropical climates, nor even the infirmities of age, restrain the sordid, or the needy, or the ambitious adventurer from the dazzling but doubtful enterprise. What wonder that these emigrants should soon, like the people of Romulus, find themselves a nation of men alone? When disease shows its pale face, it must not be relieved by the tenderness and soothing care of woman. The home of the heart, which she alone can make-the home where fall the heavenly dews of sympathy, is not there. Many evils, too, were incident upon the great diversity of character among the emigrants, especially before any regular government had been organized in the territory. But these evils are gradually diminishing, and, ere long, will probably disappear for ever. Thousands, every month, are passing to and from California. Her growth seems the work of enchantment; yet her government and institutions are fast settling down to an orderly and permanent condition. The population of California in 1850 is supposed to have been 180,000. Flourishing towns and cities spring up as if by magic. Such are Benicia, Sacramento City, Sutter, Vernon, Boston, New York, Stockton, Alvezo, Stanislaus, Sonora, and Crescent City, some of which already give promise of future greatness. San Francisco has suffered greatly from fires. That of the 3d of May, 1850, was peculiarly terrific and destructive. Originating in the careless act of an individual in a paint shop, it did not cease until the city was almost wholly laid in ashes. Its progress was most appalling. The finest hotels, the most substantial warehouses, the theatre, the museum, and every newspaper establishment but one fall a prey to the devouring element. Every countenance is the picture of horror. Thousands are turned into the streets almost without notice, and without saving even a suit of clothes. Houses of wood vanish like frostwork, those of brick are "batteries of flame," pouring forth "immense jets from their windows and doors," while "iron and zinc curl up like the scorched leaves of the forest." The loss of property is estimated at from ten to fifteen millions of dollars. Ten or

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twelve lives were lost, and about twenty persons injured, some of them very severely.

UT such is the energy of its inhabitants that, almost before the smoke of the ruins has cleared away, the wonderful city begins to rise like a phoenix. Ere long, scarcely a trace of the destruction remains, and prosperity again smiles in San Francisco-the city destined, in spite of competition, wind, and flame, to be the great commercial emporium of California.

A San Francisco journal, of March 5, 1850, speaks of the terrible increase of crime, of all degrees, from petty theft to murder, and the pretty general belief that the laws, as they had been administered, would afford but little security to life and property. The people, therefore, had arisen in various parts of the State, and constituted a new court, for the immediate trial of offenders. In Sacramento, an inoffensive man, for endeavouring to separate two combatants, was shot down in the midst of a crowd. The people at once avenged the deed by constituting a court of their own, trying the murderer, and hanging him. "Lynch law," says the journal above mentioned, " is not the best law that might be, but it is better than none; and so far as benefit is derived from law, there is no other here." On the 10th of June, 1851, a similar exhibition of popular vengeance was witnessed at San Francisco. The city had long been infested with numerous desperadoes, banded together, in many instances, for the prosecution of their criminal designs. It was very difficult to detect them, and, even when they were discovered, next to impossible to secure their conviction and adequate punishment. In this state of things, many of the leading citizens had formed themselves into a detective and protective force, and maintained a regular organization as such. On the night in question, John Jenkins, said to be a native of London, was caught in the commission of a heavy robbery. He was at once arraigned before the committee alluded to, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be hung. The sentence was executed the same night, in the presence of an excited multitude of citizens; and the rising sun shone upon the dead body of the robber dangling from the corner of a building on the public square. We have already remarked, in substance, that a better state of things now prevails in California.

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ACRAMENTO City has been once inundated by the Rio Americana. "It came," says Mr. Colton, upon the inhabitants like a thief in the night; they had only time to jump from their beds; the roaring flood was at their heels: some reached the shipping, and some sprung into the tops of the trees." A levee has since been built to exclude the water from the city.

With regard to the extent of the newly-acquired territories, it may be remarked that Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Texas, constitute a territory more than half as large as that owned by the United States previous to their acquisition. These four tracts contain 763,559,040 acres; the other States and territories contain 1,318,126,058 acres. The territory of our republic is now nearly as large as the whole of Europe. The Mississippi, so lately its frontier, is now its great central river. No one, we think, will dispute the assertion of Mr. Polk, that the acquisition of California and New Mexico, the settlement of the Oregon boundary, and the annexation of Texas, extending to the Rio Grande, are results which, combined, are of greater consequence, and will add more to the strength and wealth of the nation, than any which have preceded them since the adoption of the Constitution.

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HE inauguration of General Taylor would have taken place on the 4th of March as usual, but as that day was the Sabbath, it was deferred until the 5th, when the new administration was organized with highly impressive ceremonies. The Senate was convened at eleven o'clock; and its future presiding officer, Mr. Fillmore, delivered a brief address, from which we extract the following interesting passages:

"It will not, I trust, be deemed inappropriate to congratulate you upon the scene now passing before us. I allude to it in no partisan aspect, but as an ever-recurring event contemplated by the Constitution. Compare the peaceful changes of chief magistrates of this republic with the recent sanguinary revolutions in Europe. There, the voice of the people has been heard only amid the din of arms and the horrors of domestic conflict; but here, in our own favoured land, under the guidance of our Constitution, the resistless will of the nation has, from time to time, been peacefully expressed by the free suffrages of the people, and all have bowed in obedient submission to their decree. The administration which but yesterday wielded the destinies of this great nation, to-day quietly yields up its power, and, without a murmur, retires from the capitol. "I congratulate you, Senators, and I congratulate my country, upon these oft-recurring and cheering evidences of our capacity for

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