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Odds and ends

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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Odds and ends Reply with quote

During Governor Arguello's term of office, 1823-1825, the church published an edict and posted it upon the door of the mission, excommunicating any person who danced the waltz, a new dance just introduced in Monterey. The edict was published on Saturday, and it so happened that a ball was to take place that evening at the home of Don Jose Maria Estudillo.

The edict created a sensation among the pretty senoritas, and one of them asking the governor who was present, his opinion regarding the prohibition of the waltz, received the following reply: "If I knew how and felt like it, I would dance as much as I pleased." This answer set the entire company waltzing, and the edict came to naught.

It was in May, 1848, that Alcalde Colton directed his constable to get a pair of iron hinges made for the prison door. The constable gave .the order to a blacksmith, who on completion of his work, charged the sum of $8. Thinking the charge unreasonable, Colton told the constable not to accept the hinges. The blacksmith came to the alcalde's office, and in a rage threw the hinges at his feet, and left. Colton then handed the constable $8, told him to call at the shop, pay the smithy, take his receipt for the money, and then bring him into court, all of which was done. Colton told the blacksmith that his violence and indignity could not be passed over; that he would fine him $10 for the good of the town, which he might pay or go to prison.

After a few moments hesitation, the smithy laid the amount of the fine on the alcalde's table, and took his departure, this time, without uttering a word, but when clear of the office, he said to the constable: "For once in my life I have been outwitted; that Yankee Alcalde not only got the hinges for nothing, but $2 besides. I would have tried the callaboose but for the infernal fleas."

Captain Burroughs, while enroute to Monterey, on the famous horse "Sacramento," belonging to Col. Fremont, was killed by "Three Fingered Jack," a well-known character of Monterey, and a lieutenant in the Joaquin Murietta bandit gang. "Sacramento" was an historic horse, known not only on the Pacific Coast, but throughout the southern states as well, he was bred by Capt. John A. Sutter, of Sutter's Fort, and presented to Fremont in 1842. Fremont rode this animal in all his exploring expeditions, and returning to California in 1846, left the charger at Sonoma.

A nest of gamblers, fifty in number, arrived in Monterey, May 12, 1847, and opened up a "monte" game in the Washington Hotel. Colton took a file of soldiers and surrounded the place, arresting the whole outfit. He took them into the barroom, told them about the schoolhouse he was building, and fined them $20 each. The proprietor was fined $100, which made a neat sum toward the building of Colton Hall.

Before raising the United States flag over the Custom House at Monterey, July 7, 1846, Commodore John Drake Sloat issued the following proclamation, which he read to the men of the frigate, Savannah, before sending them ashore:

Flagship Savannah, July 7, 1846
We are now about to land on the territory of Mexico with whom the United States is at war. To strike their flag and hoist our own in place of it, is our duty. It is not only our duty to take California, but to preserve it afterwards as a part of the United States, at all hazard; to accomplish this it is of the first importance to cultivate the good opinion of the inhabitants and reconcile them to the cause.

We know how to take those who oppose us, but it is the peaceful and unoffending inhabitants whom we must reconcile. I scarcely consider it necessary for me to caution American seamen and marines against the detestable crime of plundering and maltreating unoffending inhabitants.

That no one may misunderstand his duty, the following regulations must be strictly adhered to, as no violation can hope to escape the severest punishment:

1—On landing, no man is to leave the shore until the commanding officer gives the order to march.

2—No gun is to be fired, or other act of hostility committed without express orders from the officer commanding the party.

3—The officers and boatkeepers will keep their respective boats as close to the shore as they will safely float, taking care they do not lay aground, and remain in them prepared to defend themselves against attack, and attentively watch for signals from ships as well as from the party on shore.

4—No man is to quit the ranks or to enter any house for any pretense whatever, without express orders from an officer. Let every man avoid insult or offense to any unoffending inhabitant, and especially avoid that eternal disgrace which would be attached to our names and our country's name by indignity offered to a single female, even let her standing, be however low it may.

5—Plunder of every kind is strictly forbidden; not only does the plundering of the smallest article from a prize forfeit all claim to prize money, but the offender must expect to be severely punished.

6—Finally, let me entreat you, one and all, not to tarnish our hope of bright success by any act that we shall be ashamed to acknowledge before God and our country.

JOHN SLOAT, Commander in Chief of the U. S. Naval Force in the Pacific Coast.

The following is taken from the "Californian," dated at San Francisco, March 15, 1848: "The undersigned being desirous of disposing of his house in Monterey, and as it is difficult to find a purchaser to pay its value immediately, he has adopted the method of raffling it, as less burdensome to the purchaser. It is useless to recommend this establishment, all those who have visited Monterey must be aware of its excellent location.

"The raffle will be held in the presence of the Alcalde of Monterey, and sufficient notice will be given in the papers of the day, which will be as soon as the tickets are sold.

"The number of tickets will be 270 at $30 each. The tickets will be found on sale at Monterey in the house of the subscriber; in San Francisco, at Melius & Howard; in the Pueblo of San Jose, at the house of Don A. Sunol; in Santa Barbara, at the house of Don Jose Antonio Aguirre, and at Los Angeles at the house of Don Manuel Rynna.

"It is a condition of the raffle that the owner of the house shall allow the occupant six months to move, he paying from the day of the raffle until he shall leave the house $50 per month rent.

Monterey, Nov. 11, 1847

(The above was also printed in Spanish. This house is now the home of Gouverneur Morris).
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