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Cooler and wiser counsels
prevailed, each party yielded a part of its claims, and made a middle
line the boundary. A minor dispute over the course of the boundary line
after it reached the Pacific islets was amicably adjusted by another
treaty in 1871.


STATES ADMITTED.

It has been stated that the bill for the admission of Iowa did not
become operative until 1846. It was the fourth State formed from the
Louisiana purchase, and was first settled by the French at Dubuque; but
the post died, and no further settlements were made until the close of
the Black Hawk War of 1832, after which the population increased with
great rapidity.

Wisconsin was the last State formed from the old Northwest Territory. A
few weak settlements were made by the French as early as 1668, but, as
in the case of Iowa, its real settlement began after the Black Hawk War.


THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE.

James Smithson of England, when he died in 1829, bequeathed his large
estate for the purpose of founding the Smithsonian Institution at
Washington "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." In
1838, his estate, amounting to more than half a million dollars, was
secured by a government agent and deposited in the mint. John Quincy
Adams prepared a plan of organization, which was adopted.

The Smithsonian Institution, so named in honor of its founder, was
placed under the immediate control of a board of regents, composed of
the President, Vice-President, judges of the supreme court, and other
principal officers of the government. It was provided that the entire
sum, amounting with accrued interest to $625,000, should be loaned
forever to the United States government at six per cent.; that from the
proceeds, together with congressional appropriations and private gifts,
proper buildings should be erected for containing a museum of natural
history, a cabinet of minerals, a chemical laboratory, a gallery of art,
and a library. The plan of organization was carried out, and Professor
Joseph Henry of Princeton College, the real inventor of the
electro-magnetic telegraph, was chosen secretary.

[Illustration: THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.]


THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA.

For many years hardy hunters and trappers had penetrated the vast
wilderness of the West and Northwest in their hunt for game and
peltries. Some of these were in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company,
whose grounds extended as far toward the Arctic Circle as the rugged men
and toughened Indians could penetrate on their snowshoes.

At points hundreds of miles apart in the gloomy solitudes were erected
trading posts to which the red men brought furs to exchange for
trinkets, blankets, firearms, and firewater, and whither the white
trappers made their way, after an absence of months in the dismal
solitudes. Further south, among the rugged mountains and beside the
almost unknown streams, other men set their traps for the beaver, fox,
and various fur-bearing animals. Passing the Rocky Mountains and Cascade
Range they pursued their perilous avocation along the headwaters of the
rivers flowing through California. They toiled amid the snows and storms
of the Sierras, facing perils from the Indians, savage beasts, and the
weather, for pay that often did not amount to the wages received by an
ordinary day laborer.

Little did those men suspect they were walking, sleeping, and toiling
over a treasure bed; that instead of tramping through snow and over ice
and facing the arctic blasts and vengeful red men, if they had dug into
the ground, they would have found wealth beyond estimate.

The priests lived in the adobe haciendas that the Spanish had erected
centuries before, and, as they counted their beads and dozed in calm
happiness, they became rich in flocks and the tributes received from the
simple-minded red men. Sometimes they wondered in a mild way at the
golden trinkets and ornaments brought in by the Indians and were puzzled
to know where they came from, but it seemed never to have occurred to
the good men that they could obtain the same precious metal by using the
pick and shovel. The years came and passed, and red men and white men
continued to walk over California without dreaming of the immeasurable
riches that had been nestling for ages under their feet.

[Illustration: GOLD WASHING--THE SLUICE.]

One day in February, 1848, James W. Marshall, who had come to California
from New Jersey some years before, and had been doing only moderately
well with such odd jobs as he could pick up, was working with a
companion at building a sawmill for Colonel John A. Sutter, who had
immigrated to this country from Baden in 1834. Going westward, he
founded a settlement on the present site of Sacramento in 1841. He built
Fort Sutter on the Sacramento, where he was visited by Fremont on his
exploring expedition in 1846.

Marshall and his companion were engaged in deepening the mill-race, the
former being just in front of the other. Happening to look around, he
asked:

"What is that shining near your boot?"

His friend reached his hand down into the clear water and picked up a
bright, yellow fragment and held it between his fingers.

"It is brass," he said; "but how bright it is!"

"It can't be brass," replied Marshall, "for there isn't a piece of brass
within fifty miles of us."

The other turned it over again and again in his hand, put it in his
mouth and bit it, and then held it up once more to the light. Suddenly
he exclaimed:

"I believe it's gold!"

"I wonder if that's possible," said Marshall, beginning to think his
companion was right; "how can we find out?"

"My wife can tell; she has made some lye from wood-ashes and will test
it."

[Illustration: GOLD WASHING--THE CRADLE.]

The man took the fragment to his wife, who was busy washing, and, at his
request, she boiled it for several hours with the lye. Had it been
brass--the only other metal it possibly could have been--it would have
turned a greenish-black. When examined again, however, its beautiful
bright lustre was undiminished. There was scarcely a doubt that it was
pure gold.

The two men returned to the mill-race with pans, and washed out probably
fifty dollars' worth of gold. Despite the certainty of his friend,
Marshall was troubled by a fear that the fragment was neither brass nor
gold, but some worthless metal of which he knew nothing. He carefully
tied up all that had been gathered, mounted a fleet horse, and rode to
Sutter's store, thirty miles down the American River.

Here he took Colonel Sutter into a private room and showed him what he
had found, saying that he believed it to be gold. Sutter read up the
account of gold in an encyclopedia, tested the substance with aqua
fortis, weighed it, and decided that Marshall was right, and that the
material he had found was undoubtedly gold.

It was a momentous discovery, repeated nearly a half-century later, when
the same metal was found in enormous quantities in the Klondike region.
Colonel Sutter and his companions tried to keep the matter a secret, but
it was impossible. Marshall, being first on the ground, enriched
himself, but by bad management lost all he had gained and died a poor
man. Colonel Sutter tried to keep intruders off his property, but they
came like the swarms of locusts that plagued Egypt. They literally
overran him, and when he died, in 1880, he was without any means
whatever; but California has since erected a handsome statue to his
memory.

For the following ten or twenty years, it may be said, the eyes of the
civilized world were upon California, and men rushed thither from every
quarter of the globe. There was an endless procession of emigrant trains
across the plains; the ships that fought the storms on their way around
Cape Horn were crowded almost to gunwales, while thousands halved the
voyage by trudging, across the Isthmus of Panama to the waiting ships on
the other side. California became a mining camp and millions upon
millions of gold were taken from her soil.


THE MORMONS.

By this time the Mormons engaged much public attention. Joseph Smith, of
Sharon, Vermont, and Palmyra, New York, was the founder of the sect. He
claimed to have found in a cave a number of engraved plates, containing
the Mormon Bible, which was his guide in the formation of a new form of
religious belief. Although polygamy was not commended, it was afterward
added to their peculiar faith, which is that sins are remitted through
baptism, and that the will of God was revealed to his prophet, Smith, as
it was to be revealed to his successors.

The most grotesque farce in the name of religion is sure to find
believers, and they soon gathered about Smith. The first Mormon
conference was held at Fayette, N.Y., in 1830. As their number
increased, they saw that the West offered the best opportunity for
growth and expansion, and, when there were nearly 2,000 of them, they
removed to Jackson, Missouri, where they made a settlement. Their
practices angered the people, and, as soon as they could find a good
pretext, the militia were called out and they were ordered to "move on."

Crossing the Mississippi into Illinois, they laid out a city which they
named Nauvoo. Some of them were wealthy, and, as they held their means
in common, they were able to erect a beautiful temple and numerous
residences. Converts now flocked to them until they numbered fully
10,000. Their neighbors were displeased with their presence, and the
feeling grew into indignation when the Mormons not only refused to obey
the State laws, but defied them and passed laws of their own in open
opposition. In the excitement that followed, Joseph Smith and his
brother Hyram were arrested and lodged in jail at Carthage. Lynch-law
was as popular in the West as it is to-day in the South, and a mob broke
into the jail and killed the Smith brothers. This took place in June,
1844, and the Illinois Legislature annulled the charter of Nauvoo.

[Illustration: GREAT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.]

The experience of the Mormons convinced them that they would never be
allowed to maintain their organization in any of the States.



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