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Exhibiting the number of Live Stock and Poultry of the State for 1857.
The great increase of stock in this State during the past few years, establishes the fact that in no section of the United States, and perhaps the world, do live stock flourish better than in California. There is no branch of our resources of more importance to the permanent prosperity of the State, than that of stock raising, and every advance made therein not only adds to our present wealth but lays the foundation of our future greatness.
The State Census of 1852 exhibits the live stock of the State as follows, viz: horses, 64,773; mules, 16,578; cattle, 448,796; sheep, 82,867; swine, 38,976; poultry, 96,230. The aggregate number of live stock, exclusive of poultry, in 1856, was 1,272,921; 1857, 1,366,701; and in 1858, 1,576,980. The returns of 1858 exhibit a slight decrease in the number of mules and swine, and a large increase in the horses, cattle and sheep. The number of poultry in 1858, 839,159.
SHEEP.—The number of sheep in the State in 1856 was 253,312; in 1857, 298,343, and in 1858, 417,909. The increase since 1857, is 119,566 or 40 per cent. The accession since the returns of 1858 were made up, will increase this number to over 500,000. The remarkable increase of sheep during the past few years, is the best evidence of the adaptation of the soil and climate of this State to the rearing of this description of stock. A large number of the choicest foreign breeds have been imported, and every effort is being made by our enterprising agriculturists, not only to augment the present stock, but to improve its quality. In speaking of this department of stock-raising, the editor of the California Culturist, says:
"There is no branch of our husbandry engaging the attention of our herdsmen, at the present time, that promises better for the future, than the raising of sheep. Large numbers are annually required for the shambles, more, even, than can at present be spared from our own flocks; most of such as
* Returns from private sources.
pass to the butcher, are supplied from northern Mexico, and not a few are annually driven over the plains from the Western States, at a large profit on their cost. From the latter, are principally made up the flocks of breeders, that here and there throughout the State, at no distant day, will have expanded into herds that would do no discredit to older States than ours.
Already we have flocks varying in numbers from 500 to 5,000 choice ewes, kept purposely for breeding, and which money could hardly buy, so highly are they valued. And rightly are they prized, for the proprietor sees in his flock of 100 or 1,000 good ewes, a property that will annually net him 100 per cent. This in any other country than California, would be deemed a valuable property, a satisfactory investment.
It is not unusual for 100 ewes, in California, to present their annual increase of 110, 120, and even as high as 130 lambs. This more than doubles the flock in numbers, whilst the wool more than pays all the expenses of care and keeping for the year. The great item in favor of the California sheep raiser, over that of the Eastern, is found in the little comparative cost of feeding, summer and winter. No hay is necessarily prepared for the winter, and the mildness of the climate renders it unnecessary to provide costly shelter for the animals or their food. Nature supplies them both to the fullest extent; all man has to do is to avail himself of her prodigality.
There is not a doubt but that the climate of California will prove highly favorable to the growth of the finer grades of wool, and as the size of the animal of all breeds yet introduced is actually increased, either from the influence of food or climate, there seems nothing in the way of making wool one of the great and permanent exports of our State. All who have given their attention to sheep husbandry admit it to be among the best paying of all their attempts at animal raising."
Exhibiting the number of Live Stock, the Wheat, Barley, Oats and Wine, produced by the different States, according to the Census of 1850.
274,497 746,435 205,847 4,925,889
3,378,063 1,811 26,552,814 9,172
N. Carolina.. 148,693 25,259 693,510 595,249 1,812,813 2,130,102 2.735 4,052,078 11,058 463,397 3,423 1,358,947 3,942,929 1,964,770 14,487,351 354,358 13,472,742 48,207
Pennsylvania 350,398 2,259 1,153,946 1,822,357 1,040,366 15,367,691
165,584 21,538,156 25,590 18,875 215,232 1,013] 4,583 2,322,155 5,880 2,737 7,703,086 92 4,776 199,017 99 42,150 2,307,734 659 25,437 10,179,144 5,408 113
6,168 1 36,262 44,296 19,509
4,319,481 549,861 18,288,543 21,327,055 30,313,381 99,950,912 5,163,920 146,473,344 218,026
HORSES.-The number of horses, 1858, is 160,804, an increase over 1857 of 23,662, or 18 per cent.
CATTLE. The number of cattle in this State in 1858, as reported by the returns of 1858, is 814,642,* an increase over 1857 of 92,268, or 12 per cent. The most extensive cattle-raising districts in the State are the counties of Santa Barbara, Monterey, Alameda, Los Angeles and Sonoma.
WOOL.-The returns from twenty-seven counties, for 1858, exhibit a product of 957,823 pounds of wool; the remainder of the State will increase this amount to 1,250,000 pounds.
HIDES.-The number of hides exported during the present year, is estimated at 150,000, of which about one-third are received from the Mexican ports and Oregon. A large number of hides are annually manufactured into leather in this State, which render it difficult to obtain even an approximation to the actual yield.
The State of California, throughout its entire length and breadth, abounds in mineral wealth. The developments daily made, prove that the treasures of its soil are as yet unrevealed; and that industry and well directed efforts alone are necessary to bring them forth from their hidden depths.
The gold region of California extends from the Oregon line, north, to Kern River, south, a distance of four hundred and sixty miles in length, by from ten to one hundred and fifty miles in width. Mining, at the present time, is successfully prosecuted in twenty-five counties of the State. The aggregate area in which gold is known to exist, is variously estimated at from eleven to fifteen thousand square miles.
Dr. Trask, State Geologist, in his report of the mineral districts of the State, classifies the gold region into three distinct ranges. The Upper, or Eastern Range; the Middle Placers and the Valley Mines.
"EASTERN RANGE.-This district extends from near the summit ridge of the mountains to within about twenty-five miles of the edge of the plains. It maintains a very uniform breadth of about twenty miles, and a length of one hundred and thirty, as far as known. It covers an area equal to about three thousand square miles, a large proportion of which is available as mining grounds.
In this district is situated the major part of what is known as 'Dry Diggings,' which include the towns of Forest City on the north, and Placerville
* Compiled from the Assessors' Returns of thirty-six counties, and seven estimated. From our correspondents in several of the heaviest cattle raising districts, we are satisfied that these figures are too low and that the aggregate of the State is not less than 920,000 head.-[ED.
In the preparation of these descriptions, much important information has been extracted from the valuable reports upon the geology of the State, made to the State Legislature in 1853-'56, by Dr. Trask, State Geologist.-[ED.
on the south. At the present time there is but a comparatively small portion of this district occupied and improved. Admitting, that of the area included within the lines of this district, but one-third of the same may be considered as containing placer deposits, we shall have for the immediately available purposes of mining an area equal to one thousand square miles.
A glance at the entire area which is now in actual occupancy on this range and employed as mines in active operation, will convince those acquainted with the district, that but a very small fraction of the available territory is as yet opened or in any manner improved. It is estimated, that twenty square miles will cover that area, and even this may be considered a large figure for the grounds so improved; amounting to two per cent. only, of the lowest aggregate that can be placed upon the unoccupied district of the range. It is doubted whether there are men enough in this State (aside from those required for the transaction of other departments of business) to occupy and improve even one-half of the available mining lands that lie in the four middle mining counties of the State which at the present time is untouched; for it is pretty well ascertained, that the absolute amount of ground in fourteen of the mining counties, now under improvement for those purposes, does not exceed five hundred square miles. The amount of territory in each county which is unoccupied forms a heavy aggregate against the other.
Of the eastern range of placers, there are wide districts intervening between the settlements on the range, and an approximate idea may be obtained of the extent of these placers, by citing districts that are well known, which will convey at the same time a better conception of the proportions occupied and the reverse.
The counties of Placer and El Dorado are fair examples of this district; they lie adjoining each other, and are situated nearly in the middle of the State, and of the range. The deep workings of the above counties extend north and south for a distance (air line) of thirty-three miles, the North Fork of the American being one boundary, and the mountains and its tributaries being the other on the south; the breadth included in the above line and extending east and west, is about fourteen miles.
The area of the eastern range in these counties, alone, amounts to four hundred and sixty-two miles, nearly one half of the aggregate amount for the State as belonging to this particular range of deposits; and when we recollect that there are four additional counties through which their placers are found, the estimate of one thousand square miles will not be considered as excessive.
To those who are acquainted with the section alluded to, I have no hesitancy in submitting the above figures, for there is no object to be attained in presenting a fancy sketch of our available resources. We may draw upon facts, for many years to come, in regard to matters of this character, for the mining districts are possessed of an ample fund for that purpose.
It must not be understood that the 'deep diggings' of this district are the only resources attainable, or that they constitute the only deposits of gold in the range, for it is far otherwise. The entire surfaces of this range are productive of this metal; it was from the surface washings of portions belonging to this district of the State, that a large proportion of the gold was obtained during the earlier periods of mining. These placers still continue to yield profitable returns for labor, though long since, they were among the old workings which were considered exhausted. The returns from these old placers, at the present time, are attributable to the improved methods of mining that have been introduced subsequent to their first becoming abandoned, and the greater care which is now bestowed in washing the earth.
The placer miner of the present day will not exhaust the same quantity of ground that he would have done in 1850 or 1851, and at the same time ob