and Mission Days in Alta California," by Guadalupe Vallejo
"Life in California Before the Gold
Discovery," by John Bidwell
California Gold Rush Chronology 1846 - 1849
California Gold Rush Chronology 1850 - 1851
California Gold Rush Chronology 1852 - 1854
Gold Rush Chronology 1855 - 1856
Gold Rush Chronology 1857 - 1861
California Gold Rush Chronology 1862 - 1865
An Eyewitness to the Gold Discovery
"Discovery of Gold in California,"
by Gen. John A. Sutter
T. Sherman and the Gold Rush
Military Governor Mason's Report on the
Discovery of Gold
San Francisco During the Gold Rush Era
Steamer Day in the 1850s
Sam Brannan Opens New Bank - 1857
Frank Soulé of the "Alta California" said there were 560
killings in the state during 1854.
exports for the year 1854 amounted to $51,429,101.
January 2, 1855
Two slight vibrations of earthquake were felt just before 10 a.m.
January 4, 1855
Fletcher Mathews Haight lectured about the sphere and duties of government
in reference to public morality before the Young Men's Christian Association.
Oriental," a Chinese newspaper, established by Rev. William Speer.
January 9, 1855
Hon. Milton S. Latham, of California spoke in support of the bill to establish
a line of mail steamships between San Francisco and Shanghai, China, touching
at the Sandwich islands and Japan, delivered in the House of Representatives.
January 14, 1855
Calvary Presbyterian Church house dedicated and congregation fully organized.
February 20, 1855
San Francisco Water Company trustees signed the articles of association.
The trustees were James C. Stebbins, Fayette Howe, Dr. Lorenzo Hubbard,
Conrad K. Hotaling and James W. Jenkins.
February 22, 1855
Page, Bacon & Co., a branch of the St. Louis banking firm, closed and
a bank run began.
parade and celebration.
February 23, 1855
Black Friday bank failures of Adams & Co.; Price, Rodman; Miners' Exchange;
Robinson & Co. and Wells, Fargo and others.
March 4, 1855
Charles Frederick Winslow spoke of The Nazarite's Vow before the Sons of
Temperance in San Francisco.
March 12, 1855
Mayor Stephen P. Webb addressed the Common Council.
March 16, 1855
Gov. Bigler urged adoption of measures to secure for San Francisco the
benefits of the whale trade of the Pacific.
March 26, 1855
Paving of Washington Street between Dupont and Kearny completed.
March 29, 1855
Mechanics' Institute organized.
April 7, 1855
Charley Ah You, of Thung Shung Tung Co., and Miss Sag Sung married by Justice
O. Bailey; believed to be the first civil marriage of Chinese in California.
Journal," devoted to the interests of the fire department, established
by C. M. Chase & Co.
April 8, 1855
Stonemasons were laying the foundation of Ft. Point. Massive granite blocks
were coming from Monterey for the construction.
April 25, 1855
Hon. William W. Hawks delivered a speech about the San Francisco Consolidation
Bill in the State Senate chambers.
April 27, 1855
Roswell Ashby gave power of attorney to Russell Latham to carry on Ashby's
business in relation to the schooner "Emma Parker."
May 1, 1855
Former Mayor Cornelius Garrison died.
Sonora" brought news that banking firm of Page, Bacon & Co. of
St. Louis had also failed.
May 3, 1855
William Walker sailed today with 60 followers on the "Vesta"
for Nicaragua to assist the government there in establishing peace.
May 5, 1855
Voters approved a new City Charter. Copies were to be printed by C.M. Chase
& Co., printers.
May 7, 1855
Town Council passed Ordinance 831 relative to funding the legal and equitable
debt of the city, providing for the appointment of a board of examiners
and fixing the compensation and final redemption of the same.
May 11, 1855
The El Dorado, oldest gambling house in San Francisco, closed. The gaming
parlor at Washington and Kearny streets folded because of a new state anti-gambling
May 22, 1855
Supervisors authorized $24,000 to purchase a County Hospital on Greenwich
June 1, 1855
Pacific Wharf Company was incorporated.
June 20, 1855
Commissioners appointed to lay out streets and blocks west of Larkin, extending
to the city charter line of 1851.
July 1, 1855
Hampton North became City Marshal.
Van Ness sworn in as the seventh Mayor of San Francisco. He was the son
of the former governor of Vermont.
July 11, 1855
Word arrived here that Los Angeles yesterday suffered the heaviest earthquake
ever felt there. Hardly a building escaped damage. Residents said the quake
lifted the ground and then twisted it. Bells of the San Gabriel Mission
Church were thrown down by the tremor.
July 15, 1855
St. Ignatius Church, Market between 4th and 5th, dedicated.
July 18, 1855
Cornerstone laid for new Monumental Engine Company firehouse at Sacramento
and Leidesdorff streets.
July 19, 1855
California pioneer Capt. Joseph Libbey Folsom of San Francisco died at
Mission San Jose. Capt. Folsom 39, was a graduate and later an instructor
at West Point, and came to California with Col. Stevenson. Years ago, by
order of Col. Mason, he laid out the military reservations at the Presidio
and Black Point.
July 22, 1855
French semi-weekly paper "Le Phare" established by P. Hertzberg,
A. H. Rapp, and Wm. M. Hinton.
August 20, 1855
Steamer Day, for payment of debts, changed from the first and 16th of the
month to the 5th and 20th for the convenience of inland businesses.
August 24, 1855
Incorporation of Washington Street Wharf Company.
August 28, 1855
Earthquake felt in San Francisco.
September 3, 1855
Felix Argenti opened the bank of Argenti, Cavallier & Co. He had been
a member of the Committee of Vigilance in 1851.
September 10, 1855
John Parrott and Walter B. Comstock opened the Parrott & Co. Bank.
September 24, 1855
The preserved heads of Joaquin Murieta and Three-Fingered Jack" were
sold at auction today for $36 to satisfy a judgement.
September 27, 1855
Common Council approved the Van Ness Ordinance that attempted to resolve
land title issues and reserved certain lands for use as parks, hospitals,
fire and police stations and schools.
October 1, 1855
Capt. Joseph L. Folsom's estate appraised at $2,005,000.14.
October 5, 1855
An earthquake was felt today.
October 8, 1855
Exempt firemen move to old quarters of the Monumental Fire Co. at 15 Brenham
Place. The Exempt's old building on Jackson St. was demolished for the
extension of Montgomery St. Death mask of David C. Broderick was displayed
in the new quarters, and was a memento of Empire Co. No. 1 of which he
October 8, 1855
First edition of the new "Evening Bulletin" on sale, published
by C.O. Geberding & Co.; Editor was James King of William, the former
banker. There were 10 daily newspapers in San Francisco.
October 10, 1855
A mob in Columbia hanged John S. Barclay. The sheriff there tried to save
the unfortunate man from the noose, but was repulsed.
October 10, 1855
Public auction of real estate, at 102 Merchant St., of the interest of
the state of California in water lot property in the city of San Francisco.
Some of the lots had been property of Capt. Folsom.
October 15, 1855
St. Ignatius College on Market Street opened to students.
October 21, 1855
Smart shock of earthquake tonight, and much commotion in the water of the
bay a few minutes preceding the shock.
October 26, 1855
The murderer Jeremiah V. Craine was hanged at Coloma, El Dorado County.
November 8, 1855
Town Council cut the size of the Police Dept. by 40 positions to reduce
the cost of government.
November 17, 1855
Gambler Charles Cora shot and killed Gen. William H. Richardson, the U.S.
Marshal, on Clay near Leidesdorff. Richardson was drunk, and insulted Cora's
mistress, Arabella (Belle).
December 11, 1855
A quite severe earthquake was felt at the Mission Dolores.
December 18, 1855
U.S. Commissioners for Ascertaining Private Land Claims Lands of the Catholic
Church confirmed the claim delivered by Commissioner Alpheus Felch.
December 24, 1855
Supervisor James P. Casey founded the "Weekly Sunday Times,"
J.C. Cremony was the editor.
December 25, 1855
Dedication of the first German Protestant Church built on the Pacific Coast,
the German Evangelical Lutheran Church on Sutter between Dupont and Stockton.
December 28, 1855
Tiger Engine Co. No. 14 organized.
December 31, 1855
James King of William, writing in the "Evening Bulletin," urged
the formation of chartered banks to be regulated by the legislature.
January 1, 1856
A daring robbery was committed at Mr. Drum's residence on Anthony street
near the Mission. The house was broken open and $275 in gold stolen.
exports for the year 1855 amounted to $44,640.090.
Garrison and William C. Ralston formed Garrison, Morgan, Fretz and Ralston
and opened a bank at the corner of Clay and Montgomery streets.
January 2, 1856
About half past one o'clock there was an alarm, caused by a chimney of
the house No. 148 Montgomery street taking fire. The engines were called
out, but their services were not required.
quarter before ten this morning, a smart shock of an earthquake was felt.
Goods were shaken from the shelves.
harbor pirates: A fellow calling himself Frank Smith was arrested for stealing
$800 worth of goods from a vessel.
January 4, 1856
New post office law made required that all letters shall bear postage stamps.
January 5, 1856
Daniel Lynch was arrested at the Metropolitan Saloon on a charges of disorderly
conduct. He took one shot at police officers and was released on $10,000
January 8, 1856
First Unitarian Society organized at the Stockton Street Unitarian Church.
of Charles Cora began.
January 10, 1856
A petition was presented to the Board of Education by the residents of
Pacific street, near the Toll Gate, praying for the establishment of a
school in that vicinity.
earthquake was felt today.
at the Music Hall of Capt. Folsom's properties in San Francisco conducted
by Selover, Sinton & Co. Included were lots in the city of San Francisco
and in the town of Folsom, also, the Leidestorff Rancho de los Americanos,
embracing about 36,000 acres [14,500 hectares] of some of the finest land
January 11, 1856
Some dastardly scoundrel destroyed several hundred feet of new hose belonging
to the Monumental Engine Co. that had been spread out upon the Plaza railings
to dry. A knife or hatchet was used to hack the hose in many places.
January 14, 1856
At least 5,000 people attended the trial of skill between the Monumental
and Vigilant fire companies today at 2 o'clock.
January 15, 1856
R. N. Morrison, formerly a judge of this county and Recorder of San Francisco,
died in the State Lunatic Asylum at Stockton, aged 60 years.
January 17, 1856
Trial of Charles Cora ended with hung jury. Rumors were that jurors were
bribed. A new trial was to begin soon.
January 19, 1856
Death of William Davis Merry Howard at 9 o'clock this morning. Mr. Howard
was one of the oldest settlers.
January 21, 1856
Smart shock of earthquake today.
January 22, 1856
M. Derbec began publication of the "Eco del Pacifico," a daily
January 23, 1856
A hand cart man named John Little, while passing over the gangplank of
the steamer New World, missed his footing and fell overboard and drowned.
He left a wife and child in the city. He was a native of County Meather
January 24, 1856
Fire at the house at the corner of Union and Mason streets belonging to
Mr. Uber, and the adjoining building of Mr. Bradford's. Loss estimated
at $600 or $800. The fire was the work of an incendiary.
January 28, 1856
Mayor Van Ness signed an ordinance for suppression of houses of ill-fame
in this city. The law will go into effect on the 15th of February.
January 29, 1856
Light earthquake felt at the Mission Dolores.
January 31, 1856
Another earthquake was felt.
Charles A. Falkinburg, of the bark "Jane A. Falkinburg," and
his lady, were riding in a carriage near Folsom street on Fulton. The horse
became unruly and backed the carriage off the wharf. The Captain died of
severe injuries in a few minutes. Fortunately the injuries to the lady
were very slight.
Thursday morning about 2 o'clock, Police Officer James Lang fell through
a cellar way of A. Guy's store on Merchant Street. He suffered injuries
to his left side and arm. There are no lamps in the neighborhood. There
are several other cellarways which should be covered over at night.
February 1, 1856
Most of the respectable boot and shoe dealers signed a document pledging
not to open for transaction of business on Sundays.
February 2, 1856
Last night the barn of Mr. Joy's milk ranch on the Presidio road, two miles
[3 km] from the Plaza, was entered and two valuable horses with saddles
and bridles were stolen. In the morning two men belonging to the ranch,
started in pursuit of the thieves and found them at "Uncle Tom's Cabin,"
about 15 miles this side of San Jose.
February 5, 1856
Chinese New Year began today. New Year's Eve was celebrated by the Celestials
last night with the explosion of millions of firecrackers.
Asylum Society of San Francisco celebrated its fifth anniversary.
City Assessor gave the amount of taxable property within the city at $33,226,215.
February 9, 1856
Branch Mint could furnish any amount of small change desired, having recently
coined large amounts to serve the demand.
February 11, 1856
A lady residing near the Presidio, had a large and elegant carpet stolen
last week from a clothes line in front of her house. The theft was committed
just at dusk.
February 13, 1856
Sen. McCoun introduced bill in U.S. Senate to build a bridge across the
bay for railroad and wagon use from Rincon Point to Oakland.
February 15, 1856
At 5:23 a.m., the most severe shock of an earthquake ever felt by the oldest
inhabitant, occurred in this city. There was no serious injury to any building
except that of Messrs. Goodwin & Co., corner of Oregon and Front streets,
where about five-thousand bricks were thrown from the north wall into Oregon
Street. The water in the Bay rose, maintained its level for five minutes,
and then sank two feet below its ordinary stage. The shock was preceded
by a heavy rumbling noise and the motion was from the northwest to southeast.
February 18, 1856
Marshal North suspended five of the leading officers of the Police Department.
The causes of the suspensions were that in some cases they neglected, and
in others refused, to attend the duties assigned to them.
Sunday morning, at a little after two o'clock, a fire broke out in the
building known as the Old Garret House, on Pike Street, second door of
the corner of Clay. It was one of the oldest frame buildings in the city
and stood adjoining the Old Post Office at the corner. The house was the
property of Mons. Ritter whose loss is estimated at $1,600. The adjoining
building owned by Mrs. Miller, was also much injured, her loss being about
$900. Until 3 days earlier the building had been occupied by prostitutes,
fire believed to be of incendiary origin.
February 20, 1856
About two o'clock a.m., during a strong gale, a new two-story frame building
on First street, opposite the gas works, was blown down.
morning Mrs. Borland and her three children were thrown into the street,
by reason of the house in which they resided, on Market street, being torn
down over their heads. Mr. Woodward, who held the title took this means
to obtain possession of the lot.
February 21, 1856
Capt. Giovana B. Caraffa, of the Sardinian bark "Alessandro,"
has been missing since the night of Feb. 12. It was feared that he fell
though one of the traps at the wharf.
March 13, 1856
Moody & Co. began publication of the Daily Globe.
March 15, 1856
Earthquake felt in San Francisco.
March 26, 1856
Ladies' Seamen's Friend Society founded.
March 29, 1856
Clipper ship "Nightingale" sailed from London to San Francisco
in 121 days, a world record.
March 30, 1856
Earthquake felt in San Francisco.
March 31, 1856
Another light shock of earthquake early this morning.
April 18, 1856
Senator J.B. Weller of California urged passage of a bill to authorize
and facilitate the construction of a railroad and magnetic telegraph to
April 19, 1856
San Francisco City and County were consolidated by an act of the Legislature.
San Mateo County was created from the southern part of San Francisco County.
The Act to take effect July 1.
April 20, 1856
One of the first settlers, William Richardson, died in Sausalito. He was
born in London in 1795.
May 4, 1856
Notre Dame des Victoires Church dedicated.
May 10, 1856
Earthquake felt in San Francisco.
May 11, 1856
Rev. Edward Silas Lacey preached in the First Congregational Church about
the schools demanded by the present age.
May 14, 1856
Newspaper publisher James P. Casey shot
James King of William near the corner of Montgomery and Washington
streets. In today's edition the editor accused David C. Broderick of importing
Casey from New York, where he had been a ballot stuffer, and revealed that
Casey had once been in Sing Sing Prison. Casey was also foreman of Crescent
Engine Co. No. 10. King of William cried "I've been shot," and
was carried to the Montgomery Block where he was treated by Dr. R. Beverly
Cole. Casey was spirited to jail by his friends who feared a lynching.
Mayor Van Ness soon appeared and urged calm and asked the crowd to disperse.
Later, the Monumental fire bell was rung and members of the 1851 Committee
of Vigilance responded and began to form a new committee. William T. Coleman
was asked to be president of the new group.
May 15, 1856
Second Committee of Vigilance formally organized.
May 16, 1856
Gov. J. Neely Johnson met with William Tell Coleman of the Committee of
Vigilance in an attempt to keep the committee from hanging Cora and Casey.
The committee was also officially reorganized today.
May 17, 1856
Committee of Vigilance was storing arms and conducting drills for new members.
There were 2500 members, many of whom were also members of the California
Militia. New committee was headquartered at 41 Sacramento St.
May 18, 1856
3000 armed members of the Committee of Vigilance marched on the county
jail, removed Cora and Casey and placed them under guard in the committee's
rooms on Sacramento St.
T. Sherman was appointed by the Governor as the Major-General commanding
the San Francisco division of the California Militia.
May 20, 1856
Charles Doane, Grand Marshal, swore in Robert S. Lamotte of Pennsylvania
as captain of the Citizens Guard, Company "B" First Regiment
of infantry in the military organization of the Committee of Vigilance.
Lamotte had been a founder of the California Engine Co. No. 4.
King of William died at 1:30 p.m. while Charles Cora was being tried before
Committee of Vigilance.
May 22, 1856
Funeral services for James King of William at the Unitarian Church on Stockton
St. and burial took place at Lone Mountain Cemetery. 20,000 people gathered
at the Committee of Vigilance rooms on Sacramento St. to watch the hanging
of Cora and Casey. Archbishop Alemany visited both men just before they
were hanged at 1:20 p.m.
May 25, 1856
Rev. Benjamin B. Brierly spoke on Thoughts for the Crisis: a discourse
delivered in the Washington St. Baptist church, on the Sabbath following
the assassination of James King of William.
May 28, 1856
Thomas Sim King, brother of James King of William, became editor of the
May 30, 1856
Gov. Johnson wired Gen. William T. Sherman to meet him in Benecia. The
governor said he might have to call up the militia to restore law and order
in San Francisco.
May 31, 1856
Ex-fighter Francis Murray, known as "Yankee Sullivan" committed
suicide in his cell at the Committee of Vigilance headquarters. He was
an accused ballot-stuffer who was to be deported to Sydney by the
Committee. Sullivan was buried at Mission Dolores.
June 2, 1856
Gov. Johnson ordered newly-appointed Maj.-Gen. Sherman of the California
Militia to call up its members because of the crisis in San Francisco.
June 3, 1856
Gov. Johnson proclaimed San Francisco in a state of insurrection because
of Committee of Vigilance activities, and ordered all persons subject to
military duty to report to Maj.-Gen. William T. Sherman to quell the insurrection.
June 5, 1856
Gov. Johnson asked Gen. John E. Wool, commandant of the Army at Benecia,
for arms to help put down the San Francisco rebellion. The general refused.
June 9, 1856
Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco issued a proclamation which read
in part: "All political, religious, and sectional differences and
issues have given way to the paramount necessity of a thorough and fundamental
reform and purification of the social and political body."
June 17, 1856
John C. Frémont was nominated for President by the new Republican
Party. William Dayton was nominated for Vice-President.
June 20, 1856
Committee of Vigilance headquarters was fortified with sandbags to stop
any attacks by troops sent by the Governor to quell the insurrection. Cannons
are mounted on the roof to forestall bombardment.
June 21, 1856
John Durkee of the Committee of Vigilance led a raid on the schooner "Julia"
and hijacked the muskets aboard that were destined for the militia at San
Francisco. He took the arms to the Committee's headquarters on Sacramento
Supreme Court Justice David Smith Terry was arrested by the Committee of
Vigilance for stabbing vigilante policeman Sterling A. Hopkins on Jackson
St. between Dupont and Kearny. Hopkins, who was the hangman for Cora and
Casey, was in serious condition. Hopkins was stabbed when he attempted
to arrest a member of the militia who was testifying in court about John
Durkee's seizure of arms destined for the militia.
June 24, 1856
A Chinese shanty on Rincon Point near the Hospital, and standing partly
over the water, was entered by three or four persons. There were three
Chinamen in it who were in bed at the time. The burglars presented drawn
knives to their throats and threatened to cut their heads off if they made
the least noise. The frightened Chinamen made no resistance; the burglars
throw a blanket over the head of each and tied them up to a post in the
middle of the room. They then struck a light and commenced ransacking the
house. One of the owners of the house returned later and found his companions
tied up like victims to a stake.
11 o'clock this morning the U.S. Circuit Court room was again crowded by
an expectant crowd. The case of former policeman John L. Durkee, charged
with piracy upon the high seas came up. Durkee was Deputy Director of the
Committee of Vigilance who led the boarding party that seized arms sent
by the Governor to quell the insurrection in San Francisco. He was acquitted.
June 25, 1856
Organization called Independent City Guard adopted bylaws.
June 27, 1856
At a meeting of the Board of Aldermen this evening, an ordinance was passed
for the payment of $46,000 for gas furnished the city for street lighting
during the last eleven months.
June 30, 1856
A small one-story brick building containing a Coffee House has sprung up
on a vacant lot on Sacramento Street, opposite the Vigilante Committee
Rooms. It commenced business on Saturday evening, and as there are always
a lot of loafers hanging about watching the movements of the Committee,
it expects to do a big business.
accident occurred today at a small frame building on Tremont, between Howard
and Folsom streets. Two men, one the proprietor, C. Stoes, and an assistant
named Charles Neff, were endeavoring to raise the house to a level with
the street. While they were underneath, the building fell, having completely
broken to pieces, and covered them in ruins. Mr. Neff's collarbone was
broken, and Mr. Stoas badly bruised about the head and the upper part of
of the Mechanics' Institute on California St., near Leidesdorff, have issued
an address to the mechanics of the city; it was called into existence for
the purpose of elevating the dignity of the class of the community for
whom it was designed. The Institute was organized on March 29, 1855, and
now numbers 290 members.
large flag waving from the roof of the St. Nicholas Hotel, on the corner
of Sansome and Commercial streets, is Norwegian. The consul of that nation
has taken rooms at the house.
Saturnia Ceanothi, the California Silk-worm, can now be seen to advantage,
in all its metamorphoses, from cocoon, its first, to the full- grown caterpillar,
its last state, in the grounds of the San Francisco College, in Bush Street,
between Mason and Taylor streets. There are upwards of one-thousand caterpillars,
that will shortly be transformed into cocoons and chrysalides.
Van Ness' term ended.
July 1, 1856
Consolidation Act took effect today and discontinued the office of City
Sexton. No provision was made by it for the performance of the duties heretofore
devolving upon that office. Under the operation of the Consolidation Act,
there was no longer a Recorder's Court. That tribunal was replaced by the
"Police Court," the same in substance but different in title.
The city and county were also merged into a single political entity, and
remaining justices of the peace were to sit as a board of supervisors
W. O. Ayers lectured this evening before the Young Men's Christian Association,
at the First Congregational Church, corner of California and Dupont streets
on the subject of earthquakes.
alarm of fire this afternoon was caused by an ignition from a stovepipe,
in a house on Clay Street Wharf. The fire was extinguished before any of
the Fire Department engines arrived. There was no damage done.
July 4, 1856
A gentleman from Columbia, by the name of White, was badly wounded in the
foot by a wad discharged from a cannon on board the ship "Sirocco"
while firing a salute at 12 o'clock today. It appears that the gun was
pointed across Pacific street wharf, and had been discharged several times
in that direction, previous to Mr. White's coming within range. The wads
used by the gun were made of tarred rope gum, wound into hard balls to
suit the calibre of the gun. There was evidently great carelessness in
thus firing across the wharf.
6 o'clock this evening the sidewalk on Broadway, between Stockton and Dupont
streets, took fire and raised quite an alarm. The Vigilants No. 9, were
soon on the spot and put it out.
McDonald, late Captain of Police, and ex-officio City Marshal, died at
a quarter of 10 o'clock this morning, at his residence, on the corner of
Broadway and Powell. He had been sick a long time. James McDonald was born
in Covington, Ky., about the year 1822. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio,
and afterwards went to New Orleans, from which place he came to this country
P. Middleton, a young son of John Middleton, Esq., the auctioneer, was
seriously injured by the accidental ignition of a quantity of gunpowder
today, injuring him so severely that it is feared that he will lose his
July 5, 1856
The neighborhood of the Washerwomen's Lagoon was thrown into a state of
consternation at an early hour this morning by the discovery that two Chinamen
had been robbed and brutally murdered in their houses sometime during the
night. The dead men were Sum Kow and Yu Lee who were washermen and occupied
two separate shanties.
July 6, 1856
Horace Bushnell, D.D. delivered the sermon, "Society and Religion--A
Sermon for California," at the installation of Rev. Edward Silas Lacy
as pastor of the First Congregational Church.
McElroy was appointed City Marshal and served until the office was abolished
July 7, 1856
A young man by the name of Anthony D. Gardiner, attempted to commit suicide
by shooting himself this afternoon. He went to the Natchez Shooting Gallery
on Clay street and asked for five shots. A long dueling pistol was loaded
and handed to him by an attendant. He cocked it and immediately attempted
to shoot himself through the heart. Bardiner was conducted to the station
house and properly cared for. He is unfortunately dissipated, and when
excited by drink as he was upon this occasion, labors under derangement.
July 8, 1856
George J. Whelan was elected president of the Board of Supervisors to serve
July 13, 1856
The third Anniversary meeting of the Ladies' Protection and Relief Society
took place this evening at the Washington Street Baptist Church.
July 20, 1856
"San Francisco News Letter" published its first edition.
July 24, 1856
Dr. Andrew Randall, chairman of the Academy of Sciences, was shot and killed
by the gambler Joseph Hetherington. Dr. Randall came to California with
Montgomery on the "U.S.S. Portsmouth" and lived at the Niantic
Hotel. His office was at 134 Clay St.
July 29, 1856
Committee of Vigilance hanged Joseph Hetherington and Philander Brace at
the committee's headquarters.
August 2, 1856
Light shock of earthquake was felt.
August 4, 1856
Largest and most important sale of real estate ever made in the city of
San Francisco! Sale of the entire tract of land known as the Potrero Nuevo
was held at the auction rooms of John Middleton.
August 7, 1856
Justice Terry was released by the Committee of Vigilance and immediately
took refuge aboard the Navy vessel "John Adams" in San Francisco
August 18, 1856
Committee of Vigilance voluntarily disbanded after a parade of 6000 armed
men. The committee's headquarters became a temporary museum.
September 2, 1856
Ladies' Aid & Protective Society to assist destitute seamen.
September 6, 1856
New Grand Jury sworn in by the Court of Sessions. William T. Sherman was
September 30, 1856
"Sun" editor Francis A. Bonnard was indicted by the Grand Jury
for libelling Augustus H. Heslep.
October 12, 1856
Conrad Wiegand under the pseudonym "William Carroll" discussed
Dr. William Andrew Scott, the Committee of Vigilance and the Church; a
lecture delivered in Musical Hall. Dr. Scott was opposed to the vigilantes
and was hanged in effigy for his views.
October 18, 1856
Slight shock of earthquake felt.
November 4, 1856
Office of Chief of Police created with the election of James F. Curtis
to the office.
November 13, 1856
More of the Folsom estate was sold, consisting of lots in the city of San
Francisco. Sale the at Platt's Music Hall.
November 16, 1856
"The Herald" wrote that a Professor Wilson flew in a balloon
over a distance of one mile and landed uninjured.
November 17, 1856
Two buildings in the block bounded by Clay, Commercial, Drumm and East
streets fell into the bay when the pilings gave way. Fireman George Lencher
of Engine Co. 5 was thrown into the water and injured when the buildings
T. Sherman wrote Dr. William Andrew Scott to praise him for his courage
in opposing the Committee of Vigilance.
November 18, 1856
Board of Education met to adopt portions of the Consolidation Act, relating
to the Department of Public Instruction.
November 23, 1856
Rev. Rufus Putnam Cutler delivered a Thanksgiving sermon at the First Unitarian
Church, Stockton Street.
November 29, 1856
Tom Maguire opened the San Francisco Theatre on Washington St. with proceeds
from the sale of the Jenny Lind Theatre. He later changed the name to Maguire's
December 1, 1856
"Morning Call" established. It was owned by James J. Ayres, David
W. Higgins, Lew Zublin, Charles F. Jobson and W. L. Carpenter.
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