Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vallejo in 1852


In March 1852 Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion reported on the vast influx of people into the new state of California following the discovery of gold a few years before: “How many poor people have become enriched, and how many have lost their lives in their mad zeal to obtain a hoard of the glittering dust. No modern event has ever been the cause of so much romance in real life...."

The article also described the new capital city of Vallejo: “Our artist presents a very fine view of Vallejo, the new capital of California. It is pronounced by persons who have visited and are familiar with the spot, as singularly accurate and faithful. The members of the California legislature when they first met were compelled to sit on nail kegs, with a board placed across the open head, or upon temporary benches, which now and then broke under the weight of legislative dignity, and let down a row of honorable gentlemen flat upon the floor, to the great hazard of the gravity of the house. This was in consequence of the unfinished state of the capitol. The boarding-houses were not much better prepared for the reception of the public dignitaries, and in many instances members had to take turns in occupying chairs during the night. However, as soon as it was decided that the government would remain at Vallejo those inconveniences were removed…. The State House, on the summit of the hill, the public offices, hotels, and every tenement in the place is presented, together with much of the surrounding scenery, constituting as it does one of the most beautiful points in the entire state of California.”

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog, I've enjoyed reading much of the entries. I have two questions. One, are there any good all inclusive histories on Vallejo? Two, I have a decent number of family that lived in the region in 1852 and wondered if there were any good contacts for lookups that you might be aware of.

    My G-G-Grandfather was a state senator and I have found substantial documents tying him to both Gen. Vallejo and the capitol scandal.

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