chief seaport and the metropolis of California and the Pacific
See also:Coast, the tenth city in population (1910) of the
See also:United States, and the largest and most important city W. of the
See also:river, situated centrally on the coast of the state in 370 47' 22.55" N. and 1220 25' 40.76" W., at the end of a peninsula, with the ocean on one side and the
See also:Bay of
See also:San Francisco on the other . Pop . (1850), 34,000; (1890), 298,997; (1900), 342,782, of whom 116,885 were
See also:born and 17,404 coloured (mainly Asiatics); (1910) 416,912 . General Description.—The peninsula is from 6 to 8 m. broad within the city limits . The magnificent bay is some 50 M. long in its medial
See also:line, and has a
See also:shore-line of more than 300 m.; its
See also:area is about 450 sq. m., of which 79 are within the three-
See also:fathom limit, including San Pablo Bay . This
See also:great inland
See also:water receives the two
See also:rivers of California, the
See also:Sacramento and the San Joaquin . The islands of the bay are
See also:part of the municipal
See also:district, as are also the Farallones, a
See also:group of rocky islets about 30 M. out in the Pacific . The bay islands are high and picturesque . Several are controlled by the
See also:government and fortified . On Alcatraz
See also:Island is the United States Prison, and on
See also:Goat Island the United States
See also:Naval School of the Pacific . The old
See also:Spanish " presidio " is now a United States military reservation, and another smaller one, the Fort
See also:Mason Government Reservation, is in the vicinity . The naval station of the Pacific is on
See also:Mare Island in San Pablo Bay, opposite
See also:Vallejo (q.v.) .
Between 1890 and 1900 the
See also:harbour entrance from the Pacific was strongly fortified; it lies through what is called the
See also:Gate, a strait about 5 M. long and 1 m. wide at its narrowest point . The outlook from Mt Tamalpais (2592 ft.), a few
See also:miles N., gives a magnificent view of the city and bay . The site of the city is very hilly and is completely dominated by a line of high rocky elevations that run like a
See also:crescent-formed background from N.E. to S.W. across the peninsula, culminating in the S.W. in the Twin Peaks (
See also:Las Papas, " The Breasts "), 925 ft. high . Telegraph
See also:Hill in the extreme N.E., the site in 1849 of the criminal settlement called "
See also:Town " and later known as the " Latin Quarter," is 294 ft. high;
See also:Nob Hill, where the railway and
See also:mining "
See also:kings " of the 'sixties and 'seventies of the 19th century built their homes, which only in
See also:recent years has lost its exclusiveness, is 300 ft. high; Pacific Heights, which became the site of a fashionable quarter, is still higher; and in Golden Gate
See also:Park there is
See also:Strawberry Hill, 426 ft . Hilly as it remains to-
See also:day, the site was once much more so, and has been greatly changed by man . Great hills were razed and tumbled into the bay for the gain of
See also:land; others were pierced with cuts, to conform to street grades and to the checker-
See also:board city plan adopted in the early days . An effort to induce the city to adopt, in the rebuilding after the
See also:earthquake of 1906, an
See also:artistic plan failed, and reconstruction followed practically the old plan of streets, although the buildings which had marked them had been for the most part obliterated . Some minor suggestions for improvement in arrangement only were observed .
See also:Cable lures were first practically tested in San Francisco, in 1873; since the earthquake they have given place, with slight exceptions, to electric
See also:car lines . A drive of some 20 M. may be taken along the ocean front, through the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and a series of handsome streets in the west end . Market Street, the principal business street, is more than 3 M. long and 120 ft. broad . For nearly its full extent, excepting the immediate water-front, and
See also:running westward to
See also:Van Ness Avenue, a distance of 2 m., the buildings lining it on both sides and covering the adjoining area, a
See also:total of some 2000 acres, or 514 blocks,
See also:equivalent to c of the city plan, were reduced to ruins in the
See also:fire following the earthquake; only a few large buildings of so-called " fire-
See also:proof " construction remained
See also:standing on the street, and these had their interiors completely " gutted." Repairs on the buildings
See also:left standing on this street alone involved an outlay of $5,000,000 .
Almost the whole of this area was built up again by 1910 . As the result of the reconstruction of thissection, thousands of wooden buildings, which had been a striking architectural characteristic of the city, were replaced by structures of
See also:brick, and, especially, reinforced concrete . Before the earthquake
See also:wood had been employed to a large extent, partly because of the accessibility, cheapness and general excellence of redwood, but also because of the belief that it was better suited to withstand earthquake shocks . While the wooden buildings were little damaged by the shocks, the
See also:comparative non-inflammability of redwood proved no safeguard and fire swept the affected area irresistibly . In 1900 only one-thirteenth of the buildings in the city were of other material than wood . Of the 28,000 buildings destroyed in the disaster of 1906, valued approximately at $105,000,000, only 5000 were such as had involved steel,
See also:stone or brick in their construction . The new buildings, on which an estimated amount of $150,000,000 had been expended up to
See also:April 1909; and numbering 25,000 at that date, were built under stringent city ordinances governing the methods of
See also:building employed, to reduce the danger from fire to a minimum . The use of
See also:rein-forced concrete as a building material received a
See also:special impetus in consequence . In
See also:size and value the new buildings generally exceed their predecessors, buildings eight to eighteen storeys in height being characteristic in the Market Street section . Owing to the
See also:complete reconstruction of its business section San Francisco is equalled by few cities in the possession of
See also:office and business buildings of the most
See also:modern type . Buildings.—Among the buildings in the burned section restored since 1906, the Union
See also:Trust, Mutual Savings, Merchants
See also:Exchange, Crocker,
See also:Flood and the
See also:Call (newspaper) buildings are notable . Among business buildings built since the fire are the Phelan building (costing more than $2,000,000), the buildings of the
See also:Bank of California, the
See also:Alaska Commercial
See also:Company, the First National Bank and the San Francisco Savings Union, and the
See also:Chronicle (newspaper)building .
Thearchitecture of the city until the earthquake and fire of 1906 was very heterogeneous . Comparatively few buildings were of striking merit . The old City
See also:Hall (finished in 1898), destroyed in 1906, was a great edifice of composite and
See also:style, built of bricks of
See also:stucco facing (cost $6,000,000) .
See also:Provision was made- to erect a new building at a cost of $5,000,000 . The Hall of
See also:Justice, which houses the criminal and
See also:police courts and the police department of the city, was another
See also:fine structure . Provision was made in 1909 to replace it by a new building . Since the fire of 1906 a new
See also:House has been built, costing $1,203,319 . The other Federal buildings are not architecturally noteworthy . The
See also:Post Office, which withstood the fire and has since undergone repairs, is a massive modern building of granite (original cost $5,000,000) . The buildings of the
See also:church and
See also:college (St
See also:Ignatius) of the
See also:Jesuits cover more than a city
See also:block; those of the
See also:Dominicans are equally extensive, and are architecturally imposing . There are several magnificent hotels . The Palace, an enormous structure covering a city block (it had 1200 rooms and cost more than $3,000,000), known as the
See also:oldest and most famous hostelry of the city, and architecturally interesting, was completely destroyed by the fire, but has been replaced by a new building .
See also:Francis, completely reconstructed since the fire, and the
See also:Fairmont are new . A revival of the old Spanish-Moorish "
See also:mission " (monastery) style has exercised an increasing influence and is altogether the most pleasing development of Californian architecture . Many buildings or localities, not in themselves remarkable, have interesting associations with the
See also:history and
See also:life of the city . Such are
See also:Pioneer Hall, the home of the Society of California Pioneers (185o), endowed by
See also:James Lick; Portsmouth Square, where the
See also:flag of the United States was raised on the 8th of
See also:July 1846, and where the
See also:Committee of Vigilance executed criminals in 1851 and 1856; Union Square, a fashionable shopping centre, decorated with a
See also:column raised in
See also:honour of the achievements of the United States
See also:Navy in the Spanish-
See also:American War of 1898; also the United States Branch Mint, associated with memories of the early mining days (the
See also:present mint
See also:dates only from 1874) . Parks.—The parks of the city are extensive and fine . Golden Gate Park (about 1014 acres) was a waste of barren sand
See also:dunes when acquired by the
See also:municipality in 187o, but skilful planting and cultivation have entirely transformed its character . It is now beautiful with semi-tropic vegetation . The Government presidio or military reservation (1542 acres) is practically another city park, more favourably situated and of better land than Golden Gate Park, and better
See also:developed . A beautiful drive follows the shore, giving views of the Golden Gate and the ocean . Near the W. end of Golden Gate Park are the ocean
See also:beach, the Cliff House, repeatedly burned down and rebuilt, the last
See also:time in 1907—a public resort on a rocky cliff overhanging the
See also:sea--the seal rocks, frequented all the
See also:round by hundreds of sea-lions, Sutro Heights, the beautiful private grounds of the
See also:late Adolph Sutro, long ago opened to the public, and the Sutro
See also:Baths, one of the largest and finest enclosed baths and winter gardens of the
See also:world . Nearly in the centre of the city is the old Franciscan mission (San Francisco de Asis, popularly known as Mission Dolores), a landmark of San Francisco's history 776) .
See also:Libraries, Museums, &c.—The Public Library has more than 100,000 volumes (it had more than 165,000 volumes before the fire of 1906, but then lost all but about 25,000) .
That left to the city by Adolph Sutro had more than 200,000 volumes, but suffered from the fire and earthquake of 1906 and now has about 125,000 . It included remarkable
See also:incunabula, 16th-century literature, and scientific literature; and among its special collections are
See also:Lord Macaulay's library of
See also:Parliamentary papers, a great collection of
See also:pamphlets, one on the history of Mexico, and other rarities . The
See also:Mercantile Library (35,000 volumes) was formed before the fire of 1906 (when the entire collection of 200,000 volumes was destroyed) by the merging of the Mechanics Institute Library (116,000 volumes) and the Mercantile Library (founded 1852; 80,000 volumes) . The
See also:Law Library, the libraries of the San Francisco Medical Society, and the French library of La Ligue Nationale Francaise (1874), were destroyed in the fire of 1906 and re-established . The building of the California Academy of Sciences (founded 1853, endowed by James Lick with about $600,000) was destroyed in 1906 . In Golden Gate Park is a museum owned by the city with exhibits of a wide range, including history,
See also:ethnology, natural history, the fine arts, &c . Very fine
See also:mineral exhibits by the State Mining Bureau, and California Agricultural and Pacific Coast commercial displays by the CaliforniaDevelopment Board, are housed in the
See also:Ferry Building, and there is a Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park . The California School of Mechanic Arts was endowed by James Lick with $540,000 . The San Francisco Institute of
See also:Art, conducted by the San Francisco Art Association (organized 1872), known until the fire of 1906 as the Mark
See also:Hopkins Institute of Art, was deeded (1893) to the Regents of the State University in trust for art purposes by a later owner . The building was totally destroyed and the institute was re-established under the new name on the same site . The school conducted by this institute had a fine collection of casts, presented to the city by the government of France . It is said to be the largest university art school of the
See also:country .
The law, medical, dental, chemical and pharmaceutical departments of the State University are also in the city . Among other educational institutions are the CogswellPolytechnic College, the Wilmerding School of
See also:Industrial Arts, and the California School of Design . In sculpture and
See also:painting not much has yet been done to adorn the city . The self-sufficingness of San Francisco, long forced upon it by the great distance from the older culture of the Eastern States, has thus far shown itself particularly only in the general features of society . Few names belong by exclusive right to San Francisco's
See also:annals,—the most noteworthy being those of Bret
See also:Harte, Joaquin
See also:Miller and
See also:George; but perhaps a score among the better known of the more recent writers in the country have done enough of their
See also:work here to connect them enduringly with the city . The B shemian
See also:Club is a famous centre of literary and artistic life . Among tile daily
See also:newspapers the San Francisco Examiner (
See also:Independent-Democratic, 1865), the Chronicle (Republican, 1865), the Call (Republican, 1856) and the San Francisco Bulletin (Independent-Republican, 1855) are chiefly important . Suburbs.—The city suburbs are partly across the bay and partly to the
See also:north and south on the peninsula .
See also:Berkeley, the home of the State University (damaged by the earthquake), and
See also:Alameda, all eastward just across the bay;
See also:Burlingame, San Mateo, Menlo Park and Palo
See also:Alto, wealthy and fashionable towns south-
See also:ward on the peninsula; Sausalito and San Rafael, summer residence towns on the
See also:northern peninsula across the Golden Gate; all lie well within an
See also:hour of San Francisco, and are practically suburbs of the metropolis . Many excursions into the surrounding country are very attractive . Mt . Tamalpais has already been referred to .
The railroad in making this ascent makes curves equivalent to
See also:forty-two whole circles in a distance of 81 m., at one place paralleling its track five times in a space of about 300 ft .
See also:Climate.—San Franciscan climate is breezy,
See also:damp and at times chilling; often depressing to the weakly, but a splendid tonic to others . In a
See also:period of 32 years, ending
See also:December 1903, the extremes of temperature were 29° and 100° F.; the highest monthly
See also:average 65°, the lowest 46°; the average for
See also:September and December, respectively 50°, 54 , 59°,61°, and 51° F . The average rainfall was 22.5 in., falling mostly from
See also:November to March . Every afternoon, especially from
See also:October to May, a stiff
See also:breeze sweeps the city; every afternoon in the summer the fogs
See also:roll over it from the ocean . Though geraniums and fuchsias
See also:bloom through the year in the open, an overcoat is often needed in summer . Communications and Commerce.—San Francisco Bay is the most important as well as the largest harbour on the Pacific coast of the United States . There is a difference of a fathom in the mean height of the tides . Deep-water craft can go directly to docks within a
See also:short distance of their
See also:sources of supply, around the bay . In 1909 extensive improvements to the water front were under way, and land has been
See also:purchased west of Fort Mason for the construction of wharves and warehouses for the United States Transport Service . The largest craft can always enter and navigate the bay, and there are ample facilities of dry and floating docks . Steamer connexions are maintained with
See also:Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, Central and South
See also:America, the Philippines,
See also:China and
See also:Japan .
San Francisco in 1909 had much the largest commerce of any of the Pacific ports . For 1909 the total imports of merchandise for the
See also:port were valued at $31,468,597 and the exports at $31,100,309 . From 1891 to 1900 San Francisco dropped from the fifth to the eighth
See also:rank among the customs districts of the United States in point of aggregate commerce (the ports of
See also:Puget Sound rising in the same period from the twentieth to the tenth place) . From 1893 to 1903 the yearly imports averaged $37,968,152, exports $33,658,266, and duties collected $6,642,173 . The vessel
See also:movement for 1909 amounted to 4,959,728 tons arrivals and 4,974,922 tons departures . The foreign
See also:trade is chiefly with British
See also:Columbia, South America, China and Japan, and there is a considerable trade with
See also:Europe, Australia and Mexico . Trade with the Philippine Islands and the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska is important, while the coastwise trade with Pacific. ports exceeds all the
See also:rest in
See also:tonnage .
See also:grain and
See also:flour, fruits and their
See also:tea and
See also:coffee are characteristic staples of commerce . While the export grain business had by 1909 shifted to ports in
See also:Oregon and
See also:Washington, San Francisco is the great receiving port for cereals on the Pacific Coast . San Francisco's permanence as one of the greatest ports of the country is assured by its magnificent position, the
See also:wealth of its " back country," and its command of trans-Pacific and trans-
See also:continental commercial routes . It is very nearly the shortest route, great circle sailing, from
See also:Panama to
See also:Yokohama and Hongkong; the Panama Canal will shorten the sea route from Liverpool and
See also:Hamburg by about 5500 M. and from New
See also:York by 7800 . Three trans-continental railway systems—the
See also:Southern Pacific (with two trans-continental lines, the Southern and the old Central Pacific), the
See also:Topeka &
See also:Santa F6, and the Western Pacific—connect the city with the Eastern States; and besides these, it has
See also:traffic connexions with the three trans-continental lines of the north, the
See also:Canadian Pacific, Great Northern and Northern Pacific .
Lines of the Southern Pacific and its branches connect the whole state with the city, a number of smaller roads—of which the most important is the North-Western Pacific—joining it with the surrounding districts . On the 1st of July 1900 the first
See also:train of the Santa F6 left San Francisco for the East; a significant event, as there had before been practically only one railway corporation (the Southern Pacific) controlling trans-continental traffic at San Francisco since 1869 . Only one railway, the Southern Pacific's lowercoast route, actually enters the city . Some ten other roads, great and small, have their terminals around the bay . Manufactures.—San Francisco in 1900 held twelfth place among the cities of the Union in value of output; in 1905 it rankest thirteenth . The total value of the factory products of tae city in 1905 was $137,788,233 as against $107,023,567 in 1900 . The leading pro-ducts and their value in 1905, where given, were:
See also:sugar and
See also:molasses refining; printing and
See also:publishing, $9,424,494 (of which $5,575,035 was for newspapers and
See also:periodicals) ; slaughtering and
See also:meat packing (wholesale), $8,994,992;
See also:shipbuilding; foundry and machine-
See also:shop products, $8,991,449 clothing, $4,898,095; canning and pre-serving, $4,151,414; liquors (
See also:malt, $4,106,034; vinous, $53,511); coffee and spice roasting and grinding, $3,979,865; flour and grist-
See also:mill products, $3,422,672; lumber, planing and mill products, including
See also:sash, doors and blinds, $2,981,552;
See also:leather, tanning and
See also:finishing, $2,717,542; bags, $2,473,170; paints, $2,c48,250 . The development of the petroleum
See also:fields of the state has greatly stimulated manufactures, as
See also:coal has always been dear, whereas the crude oil is now produced very cheaply . The Union Iron
See also:Works on the peninsula is one of the greatest shipbuilding;
See also:plants of the country . Government.—Charters were granted to the city in 1850, 1851 and 1856 . By the last the city and
See also:county, which until then had maintained
See also:separate governments, were consolidated . Under this
See also:charter San Francisco throve despite much corruption, and it was because the provisions of the State Constitution of 1879 seemed likely to compel the adoption of another charter that the city decisively rejected that constitution .
After many years of notorious "
See also:rule, the city in 1896 elected a reform mayor . This was the most important movement for
See also:good government in its history since the Vigilance Committee of 1856 . It was followed by the adoption (1898) of a new charter, which came into effect on the 1st of January 1900 . Elections are biennial . The inclusion in the charter of the principle of the " initiative and
See also:referendum " enables a percentage of the voters to compel the submission of
See also:measures to public approval . The city's
See also:control is centralized, great power being given to the mayor . He appoints and removes members of the fire, police, school, election, park,
See also:civil service,
See also:health and public works commissions of the city; his
See also:veto may not be overcome by less than a five-sixths
See also:vote of the board of supervisors, and he may veto separate items of the
See also:budget .
See also:Taxation for ordinary municipal purposes is limited to 1% on
See also:property values, extra taxes being allowed for unusual purposes; but the city cannot be bonded without the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the electorate . Civil service is also provided for . There is a highly developed license
See also:system . The board of public works, composed of
See also:engineers, controls streets, sewers, buildings and public improvements . In 1885 the assessed property valuation of the city, on a basis of 6o% of the actual value, was $223,509,560; in 1905, $502,892,459;1 in 1910 the total was $492,867,037 .
See also:net bonded
See also:debt on the 30th of June 1909 was $10,130,062.32 . The water-supply system was greatly improved of ter the earthquake of 1906; whereas before the earthquake one
See also:main supply
See also:pipe brougnt all the water to the city, there have since been installed five systems which work independently of each other . Provision is made for filling the mains with
See also:salt water from the bay if necessary in fighting fire . While the supply had been furnished by a private corporation, the city was in 1910 planning for the ownership of its water-system, the supply to be
See also:drawn from the Sierras at a cost of some $45,000,000 . Water was at that time in remote parts of the city drawn from artesian
See also:wells . In 1903 almost ten-elevenths of the street
See also:railways were controlled by one Eastern corporation, which was involved in the charges of municipal corruption that were the most prominent feature of the recent
See also:political history of the city . The electric power and
See also:light are drawn from the Sierras, 140 M. distant . Population.—The population of San Francisco increased in successive decades after 185o by 67.6, 16.3, 56.5, 27.8, 14.6 and 21.6 % . The population is very cosmopolitan . Germans and Irish are not so numerous here, relatively, as in various other cities, although in 1900 the former constituted 30.1 and the latter 13.6 % of the total population . There is a large
See also:Ghetto, a so-called Latin Quarter, where Spanish sounds and signs are dominant, a Little Italy and a
See also:Chinese quarter of which no other city has the like . Chinatown, at the
See also:foot of Nob Hill, covers some twelve city blocks, and with its temples,
See also:rich bazaars,
See also:strange life and show of picturesque
See also:colours and customs, it is to strangers one of the most interesting portions of the city .
It was completely destroyed in the fire of 1906, and its in-habitants removed temporarily across the bay to Oakland, but by 1910 the quarter had been practically rebuilt in an improved manner, yet retaining its markedly
See also:oriental characteristics . The, new China-town gained considerably in sanitation and in the
See also:housing of its commercial establishments . San Francisco has naturally been the centre of
See also:anti-Chinese agitation . The success of the exclusion
See also:laws is seen (though this is not the
See also:sole cause) in the decrease of the Chinese population from 24,613 to 13,954 between 1890 and 1900 . 1 For the fiscal year 1906–1907 the assessed value was $375,932,447, indicating the drop in values immediately after the earthquake and fire, and, by comparison with the 1910 figures, the extent of recovery . The
See also:Japanese numbered 1781 in 19oo and have very rapidly increased . The question of their
See also:admission to the public
See also:schools, rivalry in labour and trade, and other racial antagonisms attendant on their rapid increase in numbers, created conflicts that at one time seriously involved the relations of the two countries . Two Chinese papers are published . More than
See also:half of the daily papers are foreign language . History.—A Spanish presidio (military post), and the Francis-can mission of San Francisco de Asis, on the
See also:Laguna de los Dolores, were founded near the northern end of the peninsula in 1776 . San Francisco was not one of the important settlements . Even the very important fact whether it was ever actually a pueblo—i.e. a legally recognized and organized town—was long a controverted question .
Up to 1835 there were two settlements on the peninsula—one about the presidio, the other about the mission; the former lost importance after the
See also:abandonment of the presidio in 1836, the latter after the secularization of the mission, beginning in 1834 . The year 1835-1836 marked the beginning of a third settlement destined to become the present San Francisco . This was Yerba Buena (" good
See also:herb," i.e.
See also:wild mint), founded on a little
See also:cove of the same name S.E. of Telegraph Hill, extending inland to the present line of
See also:Montgomery Street . (The cove was largely filled in as early as 1851.) The site of the city is very different from that of most American towns, and seemed a most unpromising location . The hills were barren and precipitous, and the interspaces were largely shifting sand-dunes; but on the E. the land sloped gently to the bay . In 1835-1839 " San Francisco " had an
See also:ayuntamiento (town-council), and the different municipal
See also:officers seem to have been located at the same or different times at the mission, the presidio, or at Yerba Buena; the name San Francisco being applied indifferently to all three settlements . The ayuntamiento, apparently recognizing the future of Yerba Buena, granted lots there, and as the older settlements decayed Yerba Buena throve . In 184o there were only a handful of inhabitants; in 1846, when (on the 9th of July) the flag of the United States was raised over the town, its prosperity already marked it as the future commercial " metropolis " of the coast . In this year a Mormon colony joined the settlement, making it for a time a Mormon town . The population in the year before the gold
See also:discovery probably doubled, and amounted to perhaps 900 in May 1848 . The first
See also:news of the gold discoveries of January 1848 was received with incredulity at San Francisco (to give Yerba Buena the name it formally assumed in 1847), and there was little excitement until April . In May there was an exodus .
See also:middle of June the hitherto thriving town had been abandoned by a large majority of its inhabitants . Realty at first fell a half in value, labour
See also:rose many times in price . Newspapers ceased publication, the town council suspended sessions, churches and business buildings were alike empty . When the truth became known regarding the mines a wonderful "
See also:boom " began . The population is said to have been 2000 in
See also:February (in which
See also:month the first steamer arrived with immigrants from the East over the
See also:Isthmus), 6000 in
See also:August, and 20,000 by the end of the year . A city of tents and shanties rose on the. sand-dunes . Realty values rose ten-
See also:fold in 1849 . Early in 185o more than 500 vessels were lying in the bay, most of them deserted by their crews . Many rotted; others were beached, and were converted into stores and lodging houses . Customs revenues rose from $20,000 in the first half of 1848 to $175,000 in the second half and to $4,430,000 in the year ending in June 1852 . There was at first no idea of permanent settlement, and naturally no time whatever to improve the city . Great quantities of expensive merchandise glutted the market and were sunk in the liquid mud of the streets as fillage for the construction of sidewalks .
Between December 1849 and June 1851 seven " great " fires, destroying in the aggregate property valued at twenty or twenty-five millions of dollars, swept the business district . Half of this was in the fire of the 4th of May 1851, which almost completely destroyed the city . These misfortunes led to a more general employment of brick and stone in the business quarter . It is characteristic of the vagaries of Californiancommerce in the early years that dressed granite for some buildings was imported from China . In these days the society of San Francisco was extraordinary . It was the most extreme of all democracies . Probably never before nor since in America was there a like test of self-development . Unusual courage and self-reliance were necessary for success . Amusements were coarse and unrestrained . Gambling was the fiercestpassion . Property was at first, in San Francisco as in the mines, exceptionally secure; then insecure .
See also:Crime became alarmingly
See also:common, and the city government was too corrupt and inefficient to repress it .
It was estimated (
See also:Bancroft) that up to 1854 there were 4200 homicides and 1200 suicides; in 1855 the records show 583 deaths by violence . There were almost no legal convictions and executions . Juries would not punish
See also:homicide with severity . In 1851 the first Committee of Vigilance was formed and served from June to September, when it disbanded; it was the nucleus of the second and greater committee, active from May to August of 1856 . By these committees criminals were summarily tried, convicted and punished; suspicious characters were deported or intimidated . These vigilantes were the good citizens (the committee of 1851 included some 800 and that of 1856 some 600p-8000 citizens of all classes), who organized outside of law, " not secretly, but in debate, in daylight, with sobriety and decorum," to defend and establish, through defying, its rule . In this they were comparatively successful . Crime was never again so brazen and daring, and 1856 marks also the beginning of political reform . San Francisco's
See also:action was widely imitated over the state . In 1877 during the labour troubles a Committee of Safety was, again organized, but had a very brief existence . The United States military authorities in August 1847 authorized a municipal government . Under a municipal ordinance another was chosen in December 1848 to succeed it, but the
See also:parent government pronounced the election illegal; nevertheless the new organization continued to
See also:act, though another was chosen and recognized as legal .
There were for a time at the end of 1848 three (and for a longer time two) civil governments and one military . Neither the military nor municipal organization was competent to give adequate law andpeace to the community; and therefore in February 1849 the citizens elected a " Legislative
See also:Assembly," which they empowered to make laws not in " conflict with the Constitution of the United States nor the common laws thereof." This was proclaimed revolutionary by the military authorities, but such illegalities continued to spread over the state, until in June 1849 the
See also:Convention was called that framed the State Constitution, California being admitted in September 185o to the Union . Pro-visional civil officers were elected throughout the state, and the Legislative Assembly came to an end . The charters of 1850, 185r and 1856 have already been referred to . The first public school was established in 1849 . In 1855-1856 a disastrous commercial panic crippled the city; and in 1858, when at the height of the
See also:Fraser river gold-mine excitement it seemed as though
See also:Victoria, B.C., was to supplant San Francisco as the metropolis of the Pacific, realty values in the latter city dropped for a time fully a half in value . In 1859 foreign
See also:coin was first refused by the
See also:banks . Up to this time first gold dust, then private coins, and later
See also:money of various countries, had circulated in California . In 1860
See also:mail communication was established with the East by a
See also:express,, the
See also:charge being $5.00 for a half-
See also:ounce . Some reference must be made to the Mexican land-
See also:grant litigation . The high value of land in and about the city caused the fabrication of two of the most famous claims examined and rejected as fraudulent by the United States courts (the Limantour and Santillan claims) . They involved 7 sq. leagues of land and many millions of dollars .
Another land question already referred to (that whether San Francisco was entitled as a
See also:pueblo to 4 sq. leagues of public land) was settled affirmatively in 1867, but the final land
See also:patents were not issued until 1884 by the national government . When the Civil War came in 1861 the attitude of San Francisco was at first uncertain, for the pro-
See also:slavery Democrats had controlled the state and city, although parties were remaking in the late 'fifties . About 75,000 arms are supposed to have been surreptitiously sent to California by the secessionist Secretary of War, J . B . Floyd; and the pro-slavery party seems to have planned to try for union with the Confederacy, or to organize a Pacific Coast republic .
See also:Thomas Starr
See also:King (1824–1864), a Unitarian
See also:minister, was the heroic war-time figure of the city, the
See also:leader of her patriotism . Her money contributions to the Sanitary Funds were, it is said, greater than those of any city in the country; and in every other way she abundantly evidenced her love for the Union . The curious
See also:Chapman (or
See also:Asbury Harpending) case of 1863 was a Confederate
See also:scheme involving piracy on Federal vessels in the Pacific and an effort to gain the
See also:secession of the state . It had no practical importance . From 18J9–1877 was the "
See also:silver era" of San Francisco (see CALIFORNIA) . It paralleled the excitement and gambling of 1849, and despite losses was a great stimulus to the city's growth . In September 1869 the Central Pacific line was completed to Oakland, and in the next four years there was a
See also:crash in real
See also:estate values inflated during the railway
See also:speculation .
In 1876 railway connexion was made with Los Angeles . The 'seventies were marked by the growth of the anti-Chinese movement, and labour troubles, culminating in 1877–1879 with the "sand-lots " agitation and the formation of the Constitution of 1879 (see CALIFORNIA), in all of which San Francisco was the centre . The feeling against the Chinese found expression sometimes in unjust and mean legislation, such as the famous "
See also:queue ordinance " (to compel the cutting of queues—the gravest insult to the Chinese), and an ordinance inequitably taxing laundries . The Chinese were protected against such legislation by the Federal courts . The startling and romantic changes of earlier years long ago gave way to normal municipal problems and ordinary municipal routine . In the winter of 1894 the California
See also:International Exposition was held in Golden Gate Park . Since 1898 the governmental changes previously referred to, the location of a new trans-continental railway
See also:terminus on the bay, and the new outlook to the Orient, created by the control of the Philippines by the United States, and increased trade in the Pacific and with the Orient, have stimulated the growth and ambitions of the city . Special mention must be made of the two citizens to whom San Francisco, as it is to-day, owes so much, viz . James Lick (1796–1876), a
See also:cold man with few friends, who gave a great
See also:fortune to
See also:noble ends; and Adolph Sutro (183o-1898), famous for executing the Sutro Tunnel of the Comstock mines of Virginia City,
See also:Nevada, and the donor of various gifts to the city . The partial destruction of San Francisco by earthquake and fire in 1906 was one of the great catastrophes of history .
See also:Earth-quakes had been common but of little importance in California until 1go6 . In more than a century there had been three shocks called " destructive " (1839, 1865, 1868) and four " exceptionally severe " at San Francisco, besides very many light shocks or tremors .
The worst was that of 1868; it caused five deaths, and cracked a dozen old buildings . Heavy earthquake shocks on the
See also:morning of the 18th of April 1906, followed by a fire which lasted three days, and a few slighter shocks, practically destroyed the business section of the city and some adjoining districts . The heaviest
See also:shock began at 12 minutes 6 seconds past 5 o'
See also:clock a.m., Pacific standard time, and lasted 1 minute 5 seconds . Minor shocks occurred at intervals for several days . The earthquake did serious damage throughout the coast region of California from Humboldt county to the southern end of
See also:Fresno county, a
See also:belt about 50 M. wide . The damage by earthquake to buildings in San Francisco was, however, small in comparison to that wrought by the fire which began soon after the principal shock on the morning of the 18th . About half the population of the city, it was estimated, spent the nights while the fire was in progress out of doors, with practically no shelter . Some 200,000 camped in Golden Gate Park and 5o,00o in the presidio military reservation . The difficulty of checking the fire was increased through the breaking of thewater-mains by the earthquake, draining the principal reservoirs . Traffic by street cars was made impossible by the twisting of the tracks . To stop the fire rows of buildings were dynamited . In this way many fine mansions on Van Ness Avenue were destroyed, and the westward advance of the conflagration was stopped at
See also:Franklin Street, one block west .
See also:Frederick Funston, in command at the presidio, with the Federal troops under him, assumed control, and the city was put under military law, the soldiers assisting in the work of
See also:salvage and
See also:relief . On the 21st the fire was reported under control . A committee of safety was organized by the citizens and by the city authorities acting in conjunction with General Funston, and measures were adopted for the prevention of
See also:famine and disease, permanent camps being established for those who had been rendered homeless and not provided for by removal to other cities . Assistance with money and supplies was immediately given by the nation and by foreign countries, a committee of the Red
See also:Cross Society being put in charge of its administration . By the 23rd of April about $1o,000,000 had been subscribed by the
See also:people of the United States; Congress voted $2,500,000 from the national
See also:treasury . The committee organized as the Red Cross Relief Corporation completed its work in 1908, having spent for the relief of the hungry, for the sick and injured, and for housing and rehabilitation of individuals and families, in round numbers $9,225,000 . As the result of the earthquake and fire about 500 persons lost their lives; of those two were shot as looters . Buildings valued at approximately $105,000,000 were destroyed . The total loss in damage to property has been variously estimated at from $350,000,000 to $500,000,000 . To cover the loss there was about $235,000,000 of
See also:insurance in some 230 companies . Reconstruction in the burned section began at once, with the result that it was practically rebuilt in the three years following the earthquake . Wages for men employed in building, owing in part to scarcity of labour but chiefly to action of the labour unions, rose enormously, masons being paid $12 a day for a day of 8
See also:hours .
High prices of materials and of haulage and
See also:freight rates added difficulty to the task of rebuilding, which was accomplished with remarkable energy and
See also:speed . In May 1907 there was a street-car strike of large dimensions . Van Ness Avenue, which during the
See also:process of rebuilding had assumed the character of a business thoroughfare, did not maintain this status, the business centre returning to the reconstructed Market Street . A new
See also:retail business district developed in what is known as the mission district and in
See also:Fillmore Street . A new residence district known as Parkside was developed south of Golden Gate Park . For description and general features, see Doxex's
See also:Guide to San Francisco and the Pleasure Resorts of California (San Francisco, 1897) ; and various guides and other publications of the California Development Board (formed by consolidation of the State Board of Trade and California Promotion Committee) in San Francisco . For economic interests and history see the bibliography of the article CALIFORNIA . See also
See also:Frank Soule and others, Annals of San Francisco (San Francisco, r858);
See also:John S . Hittell, A History of the City of San Francisco (San Francisco, 1878) ; B . E . Lloyd,
See also:Lights and Shades of San . Francisco (San Francisco, 1876) ; C .
See also:Stoddard, In the Footprints of the Padres (San Francisco, 1900) ;
See also:Bernard Moses, The
See also:Establishment of Municipal Government in San Francisco (Johns Hopkins University Studies, 1889) . Many legal questions of interesting constitutional, treaty and common law import have been decided in the Federal (and state) courts in cases involving Chinese; see the collections of reports . For good accounts of the great earthquake and fire, see D . S .
See also:Jordan (ed.), The California Earthquake of 1906 (1906) ; F . W . Aitken and E . Hilton, History of the Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco (1907); G . K .
See also:Gilbert and others, San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (Washington, 1907) .
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