4 Comments

  1. sergneri

    A search of the CDNC returned no hits for either man’s name, beyond this advertisement, up to 1869 in all available editions. That does not mean they got away with their crimes, but it is likely that if they were extradited back to California, it would have hit the papers at some point.

  2. Emily P.

    I like how these old newspaper articles capture your imagination and inspire you to do some follow-up research to find out what happened to the persons involved. I’ve noticed that some of your recent articles are about events in 1860 and 1861. May I ask if this time period is of special interest to you, or if you chose this at random? : )

    • sergneri

      This hobby of correcting the OCR texts in these old newspapers leads down many paths. I was doing a search on the word “slaver” after running across that term in another context. It is a word we don’t see much of in our era and I was curious to see how it was used in the pre-Civil Ware era. Unsurprisingly, it turned up some articles which were unsavory but educational. Those lead to this, so while random, it is a kind of connect the dots ramble through our past. These Sacramento Union editions published the speeches given in the State Senate and House in which the reps gave their opinions on slavery freely and correcting them can be shocking.
      As there are thousands of lines of text in the California Newspaper Digital Collections (keyword CNDC) which need correcting, one can follow along with events from almost any era, San Bernadino in the 1930’s was another interesting time, as was Sonoma county during prohibition.

      • Emily P.

        Ah, now I understand! And I empathize completely.

        Some time ago, I heard that the Smithsonian was looking for volunteers willing to transcribe and correct digital information. Being an avid reader and a lover of antiques and collectibles, I was sorely tempted to volunteer for this, as it would combine my love of reading and my obsession with old events, old objects, and the (now deceased) people associated with them. However, I didn’t think I could spare the time to do this, so with reluctance I chose not to sign up. But oh man, I would still love to, if other obligations didn’t take precedence!

        My husband and I still bemoan the recent closure of a local restaurant that we liked. It wasn’t just about the food. For me, a great deal of pleasure was derived just from looking at the walls. The owner had papered them with old copies of the local newspaper instead of regular wallpaper. I spent many an hour sitting in one of the booths, eating and drinking, and occasionally using my laptop or phone to look up the answers to questions I had about the events and the people described in the newspaper articles on the walls around me. Much of what I learned was utterly random and trivial, yet deeply satisfying.

        So much of California’s history is fascinating that I can’t imagine there being an uninteresting time, but yeah, I bet Prohibition was an especially interesting time for Sonoma. It must have been difficult for the wine-making region to thrive during a period when alcohol was banned.

        Thanks again for this blog. Like I said to you before, I love the semi-random nature of the topics you cover.

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