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seven thousand one hundred and thirty-four gallons of sperm oil; one million two hundred and thirty-nine thousand four hundred and thirty-three gallons of whale oil, and seven hundred and forty-four thousand one hundred and ninety-five pounds of bune; the freight on which, at a fair average of seven cents per gallon for oil, and one cent per pound for bone, would amount to ninety-eight thousand nine hundred and one dollars and sixty-four cents.
From papers, documents and other reliable evidence on file at this office, I am enabled to state that there are now engaged in the Pacific fisheries, six hundred and fifty ships and barks, manned by fifteen thousand seamen, each of whom has a certain interest in the products and profits of the voyage. In the year 1853, two hundred and seventy-five of these vessels, manned by eight thousand seamen, visited the Sandwich Islands for repairs, supplies, etc.
The entire amount of capital invested in these vessels and operations, by citizens of the United States, is estimated at not less than twenty million of dollars.
The average cost of each ship and outfit being about thirty-five thousand dollars; that portion which semi-annually visits the Islands, it will be seen, represents, in the aggregate, a capital of not less than nine million five hundred thousand dollars.
The necessary semi-annual expenditures for supplies, repairs, etc., for each vessel so employed, about five hundred dollars, amounting in the whole, to nearly one hundred and fifty thousand, equal to three hundred thousand dollars per annum.
These facts and figures are sufficient to demonstrate the importance of efficient action on your part to secure for our own people the benefits to be derived from this extensive branch of American commerce.
As regards early and sure advices from owners and friends in the Atlantic States, it is evident to all that San Francisco is possessed of facilities far superior to any other port on the Pacific, by reason of frequent and uninterrupted communication by steam.
As to money for the necessary expenses of the ship, it is hardly necessary to say that the bills of masters or agents could be negotiated in San Francisco on the most favorable terms, and no doubt would readily be taken by our merchants, bankers and others, for remittance, as the best security, not even excepting government drafts.
From papers in this office I derive the additional information that, during the year 1852, drafts were drawn at the various Pacific Islands, amounting, in the aggregate, to about eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars; in 1853, six hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and in 1854, five hundred thousand dollars ; amounting, in three years, to about two million of dollars.
In comparing our large and magnificent harbors, capacious storehouses, extensive wharves and improved docks and dock-yards, with those at present found at the Islands, it cannot be denied that San Francisco stands pre-emident in all these particulars over any or all other ports on this coast. Necessary repairs can be perfected with greater facility and dispatch, and consequently, with less delay and expense at San Francisco, than in the enervating climate of the tropics. The prices of labor and materials in the two ports, I am assured, vary but little, and that all the material supplies for the perfect equipment of a whale ship are now exported from this country to the Islands, and, unless passed in bond, are subject to a duty of five per cent.
It will thus be seen, that for the reception, accommodation and outfit of the large fleet engaged in the fisheries, San Francisco is possessed of all the requisites calculated to induce those engaged in whaling operations in the Pacific to resort there for repairs, recruits and supplies.”
Recent information from the East, conveys the important fact that arrangements have already been effected, by several of the most extensive houses engaged in the whale trade, for the establishment of a grand whaling depot on this coast; where supplies can be procured and cargoes stored under American jurisdiction, and which will be in the vicinity of the cruising grounds. The importance of this movement must be apparent, as it will have the effect of increasing and strengthening the permanent interests of this coast.
V.-FISHERIES OF CALIFORNIA.
1. WHALE FISHERY OF MONTEREY. For the past four years a number of persons have been engaged in the whale fishery trade in the vicinity of Monterey; their cruising ground being the bay of Monterey, and a short distance into the ocean. Operations are carried on by means of boats during the season, which usually lasts for nine months, from March to November. The Portugese Company, during the year 1857, captured thirty-one whales, of which eight escaped, the remaining twenty-three yielded thirty-one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six gallons of oil, valued at twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars; number of men employed, fifteen.
The operations for the year 1858 have been carried on by three different companies. One under the superintendence of Captain Davenport, employing twelve men and two boats; and two companies of Portugese employing twenty-four men and four boats. In addition to these, there are ten men engaged at the try works on shore, and in attending to the business of the different companies. The full catch for the present season is estimated at one thousand five hundred barrels of oil, from the species of whale known to whalers as the Devil's Fish Diggers, California Grays, North Cape, etc. Captain Davenport has used in his operations during the past season the Cummings' Whale Gun, a California invention, with the most satisfactory results; for coast whaling it supersedes any implement heretofore employed in the business.
In addition to the oil, the Portugese Company, during the year 1857, sent to market from their own products two thousand cords of wood, ten thousand pounds of wool, eight hundred hides, twelve hundred sacks of barley, and three thousand sacks of potatoes.
There is no reason why a large portion of the whale fisheries of the Pacific should not be secured to this State, and it is to be hoped that it will not be long before the energy and enterprise of the mercantile community will be directed to the advantages possessed by California for the successful prosecution of this profitable pursuit.
2. THE SALMON FISHERIES. SACRAMENTO RIVER.—These fisheries are carried on upon the Sacramento River for a distance of fifty miles, extending south from a point ten miles
north of Sacramento City. The season embraces five months, from February to April, and from October to November, inclusive, of each year. The number of persons engaged in these fisheries is about three hundred, two hundred of whom are engaged in the boats and the remainder on shore. The number of boats, one hundred, each requiring two men and a capital of five hundred dollars; aggregate amount of capital employed, fifty thousand dollars. The number of salmon taken during the season of 1857 was estimated at two hundred thousand; average weight of each, seventeen pounds; aggregate weight, three million four hundred thousand pounds, which, at five cents per pound, the average of the sales throughout the year, make the value for the entire season one hundred and seventy thousand dollars. Amount of salmon packed during the season of 1857, exclusive of the fresh and smoked sent to market, fifteen hundred barrels.
EEL RIVER.-The fisheries of Eel River, Humboldt County, are of great importance to the State, both as regards our home consumption and the export trade. The quality of the salmon obtained therefrom is of a superior quality for curing, possessing the advantages of fine flavor and heavy texture, and frequently weighing between sixty and seventy pounds each. It is supposed that a sufficient quantity of these fish may be obtained from these waters alone to supply the entire demand of the State for this article. During the year 1857 these fisheries gave employment to a large number of persons. Amount of salmon cured in September and October, two thousand barrels, besides fifty thousand pounds smoked for home consumption, a large portion of which was consumed in the northern mines. Salmon from these fisheries have been shipped, in good order, to Australia, China, Sandwich Islands and New York, where they were sold at remunerative prices.
The gentlemen engaged in these fisheries intend to increase their operations hereafter, and from the extensive experience and superior facilities possessed by them, there is scarcely a doubt but what their future exertions will meet with the most satisfactory results.
There are numerous rivers in this State beside the above in which salmon are to be found in great abundance, among which may be named the Smith, Chetco and Klamath, each presenting a remunerative and productive field.
3. MACKEREL FISHERY. The coast of California from San Diego to Monterey abounds, at certain seasons of the year, with large numbers of mackerel of a superior quality. During the season of 1858 over one hundred barrels were taken by a single vessel in a cruise of four weeks, which, after being cured, were rapidly disposed of at sixteen dollars per barrel.
The importance of securing this trade for our State is already appreciated by that class of our citizens who are directly interested therein, and ten or twelve parties have been recently formed from their number to enter the business with a degree of enterprise and energy that cannot fail of meeting with a remunerative success.
VI.—MANUFACTURES AND MACHINERY.
1. GRIST MILLS.
The number of grist mills in the State is one hundred and thirty-five. The aggregate run of stone, two hundred and ninety-seven. Sixty-two mills are propelled by steam and seventy-three by water. The aggregate capacity per day of the water mills, is three thousand nine hundred and fifty; of the steam, five thousand nine hundred barrels. Estimating the water mills to be in operation six months of the year, and the aggregate capacity of the mills of the State is, two million four hundred and sixty-six thousand three hundred and eighty barrels per annum.
The capacity of the mills of Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin and Santa Clara, is one million three hundred thousand barrels of flour per annum; twice the quantity necessary to supply the entire population of the State.
The cost of the erection of the above mills is estimated at two million eight hundred thousand dollars. The assessed value is about one million five hundred thousand dollars.
TABLE Exhibiting the Grist Mills of the State, with Names of Owners, Location, Run of Stone, the Capacity per day, Power used, and Cost or Valuation of each. NOTE.-Those marked (a) attached to saw mills ; (6) in course of erection.
CONTRA COSTA. Lafayette.. Pacheco......
Brown's.... Elam Brown..... 3 100 steam $ 10,000
Crescent City..... Crescent City Weston & Knox.. 3
Eureka.....W. R. Duff
T. J. Titlow & Co
Mariposa Creek... Mariposa ... J. Lewis & Co.... i
2 75 South of Nevada.. Buffalo..... Rodgers & Armst'g 1 50
8,000 5,000 3,000
4 150 water