A MERCHANT IN SACRAMENTO
ON THE THIRTIETH DAY of August 1849, the Humboldt sailed through the Golden Gate after a long and tiresome journey from Panama. Some of the Humboldters borrowed money from Huntington in order to celebrate their arrival in fitting manner by a "good square meal." Huntington himself "dined" upon crackers and cheese. When he was asked how much he would take for his chances of success in California he replied, "I would sell out in a minute for $10,000."
The streets of San Francisco were full of people, hurrying to and fro, and of as diverse and bizarre character as one could imagine. Yankees of every possible variety, native Californians in serapes and sombreros, Chileans, Sonorans, Kanakas from Hawaii, Chinese with long queues, Malays with their creeses, and others of unrecognizable nationality. On every side stood buildings of all kinds, just begun or half finished, the greater part of them mere canvas sheds, open in front, and covered with all kinds of signs in all kinds of languages. In the Plaza, the American flag was flying from a high pole in front of a long one-story adobe building used as the Customs House.1
More than two hundred vessels of different kinds were anchored in the harbor, most of them deserted by their crews, the gold fever having carried them off to the mines.2